Nicola White inspiring Oldham

As an ‘Oldhamer,’ seeing Nicola White just compete at the Rio Olympics filled me with a sense of pride, but to win a Gold Medal in the Women’s Hockey and win the tournament is arguably the greatest possible achievement for a Women’s National Field Hockey team. Here’s the inspiring story:

Born in 1988, Nicola White started playing Hockey when she was 7 years old in school and currently plays for Leicester Ladies HC. She used to attend Hulme Grammar school, and it’s current students are following her every step. Nicola’s mum stated in the Oldham Chronicle, that it was a dream come true for Nicola to be in the final.

The Team GB Hockey Teams’ journey to Gold involved beating Australia, India, Argentina, Japan, USA, Spain and finally Holland in the final! 5 games played, 5 games won! A phenomenal achievement.

The team celebrating their victory!

The win in the final in Rio was even more special for Nicola, who scored her third goal of the tournament in the final to make the game 3–3. Her goal led to the penalty shootout, which ultimately led to Team GB’s victory!

The BBC reported that 9 million people watched the final! A huge amount of people, and potentially a huge amount of people inspired by the teams’ triumph over Holland. Thousands of people from Oldham were a part of this viewing and enjoyed the experience.

This isn’t the first time Nicola has won a medal representing Britain. She won the Bronze Medal at the London Olympics in 2012. The fact she they won Gold this year, shows the progress British Hockey has made. Hopefully it has inspired the next generation of British Hockey.

Aside from Hockey, Nicola White is also a University Graduate, studying Sports Science at Loughborough College. A bit of trivia; she was nicknamed ‘Scholesy’ at Uni because she’s a redhead!

I saw Nicola at an Oldham Athletic game recently. She was invited along to the game and walked around the pitch with her medal. The standing ovation she got at Boundary Park was brilliant, and clearly highlights how proud Oldham as a town is of the women and Nicola.

Nicola at Boundary Park

This blog is a big shout out to Nicola for doing Oldham and Britain proud at the Rio Olympics! Congratulations Nicola, you and the girls inspired a nation and may have caused a boom in Hockey stick sales!

#BeYourPotential


Originally published at medium.com on September 13, 2016.