Nicola picked up her first hockey stick at the tender age of seven and has never looked back. From representing her hometown school, Hulme Grammar in Oldham, through to county level and being picked to represent her country at under-21s, Nicola has risen the ranks to become one of Team GB’s biggest stars.
An accomplished athlete from an early age, Nicola excelled at hockey, athletics, netball and swimming. Every hour she wasn’t studying at school she was either on the pitch honing her hockey skills or spending time tickling the ivory for her other passion, piano playing.
Following on from her success representing county and regional teams, Nicola’s talents were noticed by England coaches and she was invited to trial for the under-16s. Despite an initial knock-back, she finally represented her country at the European Championships for England’s under-21s squad in Spain.
She continued to complete in this age group and in 2009 travelled to Australia to represent Team GB in the Youth Olympic Festival where the team won gold. On returning home she as invited to train with the senior GB squad, a step she had always wanted to make.
Her efforts were well rewarded when Nicola made her senior England debut in June 2009. From there she went on to win bronze at the Europeans that year and the team continued to produce medal winning performances which to date has accumulated to 13 medals.
But it was last year’s efforts in Rio which really placed Nicola and the rest of team Hockey GB above the rest on a balmy night in Brazil. Up against their arch-rivals the Netherlands, millions of us watched in awe as Team GB won in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to be finally crowned, gold medallists.