Olympic champion Hollie Webb returns to Belper Hockey Club

Hollie Webb pictured with players from Belper Hockey Club. Picture by Terry Fletcher.
Hollie Webb pictured with players from Belper Hockey Club. Picture by Terry Fletcher.

Belper’s next generation of hockey players received some golden words of wisdom from Olympic champion Hollie Webb at Sunday’s training session.

Webb, who picked up a stick for the first time at one of Belper Hockey Club’s mini-hockey sessions, enjoyed a fruitful time during her time with the junior sides.

And the now 26-year-old was more than happy to re-visit the place where it all began, giving star-struck kids chance to get a glimpse of her gold medal.

More than 100 junior players hung on her every word as Webb answered questions, posed for photographs and encouraged them to all enjoy the game.

Webb, on her first visit back to the area she grew up in, said: “I went to the mini-hoc club they have on a Sunday morning which is where I started playing hockey.

“I still remember going down there for my first hockey session and picking up a stick. I have really fond memories of my junior career at Belper.

“I always like going back. It’s amazing how they all seem to be star-struck by this gold medal. I tried to get across to them that I was exactly where they were not long ago and it’s possible if you want to do it.”

Webb scored the decisive goal in a tense women’s Olympic hockey final shootout at Rio 2016, beating defending champions the Netherlands.

The game was locked at 3-3 in normal time but Webb held her nerve to stroke home the winning goal to claim gold and spark celebrations both home and away.

“One of our visions was to create history and we’ve done that,” said Webb. “We wanted to inspire others and make a difference.

“Our target was to win Olympic gold and always has been but we wanted to do something more, something that would last longer than that. We wanted to get people playing across the country. We’ve received loads of messages from people getting back in to hockey or their sons or daughters are taking up the sport, it’s fantastic.”