Olympic champion Hollie Webb, whose penalty goal won gold for Great Britain, had a special message for Wycliffe’s aspiring female hockey stars.
“Always believe in yourself because I’m just a normal person and I have achieved an Olympic gold medal,” Hollie told a group of Year 8 players.
“You don’t have to be the most skillful person on the pitch. You don’t have to be the faster person. Just discover what you are good and work on those bits.”
The 26-year-old Olympic champion was at the Stonehouse school to officially open its new Astro hockey pitch.
She held a masterclass with girls, met parents and watched some matches. Pupils got the opportunity to look at the gold medal from Rio and Hollie signed countless hockey sticks.
For 13-year-old Ruby Rose, who plays for Wycliffe’s U14 team, meeting Hollie has inspired her to up her game.
“She’s just a normal person and she’s got to win an gold medal in hockey. If she can do it then anyone can.”
Fellow Wycliffe player Ella Clements, aged 12, agrees. “Meeting Hollie has been inspiring. It makes you want to play better.”
“The girls here at Wycliffe are really enthusiastic and really keen to learn. I’ve enjoyed it,” said Hollie.
The question all the girls wanted to know from Hollie was whether she was nervous when she took the penalty shot in the final which secured Great Britain gold.
“It sounds odd but I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t let myself think about it. I stripped it back to what it was. It was just a penalty shot, just another game of hockey,” she said.
“We had done our homework on their keeper, so we knew what she would do and responded accordingly. I knew what I was going to do.”
Head of Wycliffe, Nick Gregory, said: “Girls’ sport at Wycliffe is about to enter an exceptional era, with some outstanding groups of talented sports women across several sports in a number of age groups.
“Having Hollie with us today will have inspired many of our girls to believe that they too might emulate the amazing achievements of Hollie and her GB team-mates this Summer.”