Belper’s Olympic hockey star receives university honour

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Belper’s Olympic hockey golden girl is to crown her year in style, swapping her kit for a gown as she collects an honorary university degree.

Hollie Webb, who scored the winning penalty for Team GB’s women’s hockey squad at the Rio games, is to be honoured by the University of Derby in a ceremony later this month.

It continues an annual tradition in which notable people with a strong connection to the university or to the city, are chosen to receive an honorary Degree.

University vice-chancellor Kathryn Mitchell said: “Graduation is a culmination of our students’ hard work and commitment and we are delighted to share this occasion with our honorands, who have made an exceptional impact on their community or industry.”

Hollie, 26, grew up in Belper and was educated at Ecclesbourne School, before going on to achieve a degree in Economics from the University of Sheffield.

Her international debut came against South Africa in Cape Town, and since then she has won medals including silver at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and gold at the EuroHockey Championships in 2015.

The degree ceremonies are being held November 24-25, and will see thousands of students, guests and VIPs pack into Derby Arena.

Hollie will be joined on the roll of Honorary Masters by fellow Olympian, gold-winning swimmer Adam Peaty, who hails from Utoxeter and trains at the City of Derby club.

Fformer Chief Constable for Derbyshire David Coleman, who was born in Belper and grew up in Ripley, will receive the title of Honorary Doctor.

Derby Cathedral Canon Professor David Thomas will become an Honorary Doctor of Letters in recognition of his contributions to theology.