RICHARDSON-WALSH Kate < Back  
Sport Hockey
CGA England   
Gender Women
Born 09 May 1980 in Withington, ENG
Height1.61 m
Weight 66 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Wife Helen Richardson-Walsh
Other names Kate Walsh
Residence Maidenhead, ENG
Occupation Athlete
Languages English
Higher education Sports Science - Brunel University: England
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She took up hockey at age 11 at Priestnall High School in Stockport, England.
Why this sport? Her mother played the sport.
Club / Team Reading: England
Name of coach Merijn van Willigen [club]; Danny Kerry [national], GBR
Preferred position / style / stance / technique Defender
Handedness Right
International Debut
Year 1999
Competing for England
Opponent Russia
Location Ireland
General Interest
Nicknames Walshy, Walshka (Athlete, 31 Jul 2008; GB Hockey Media Guide, 2008)
Hobbies Shopping, cooking, eating out. (englandhockey.co.uk, 08 May 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement Winning gold at the 2015 European Championships in London, England. (bbc.co.uk, 30 Aug 2015)
Hero / Idol Great Britain athlete Paula Radcliffe. (englandhockey.co.uk, 08 May 2016)
Injuries In Great Britain's first match at the 2012 Olympic Games against Japan, her jaw was fractured in contact with a stick while she was making a tackle. She required surgery to have a plate inserted, but returned three matches later using a protective mask. (telegraph.co.uk, 24 Feb 2014)

She suffered a throat injury just days before the 2006 World Cup qualifying tournament when a ball deflected into her neck. She missed the team's opening few matches of the tournament. In the World Cup later that year, she was hit on the knee cap in the match against the Netherlands and had to miss two matches. (BOA, 11 Aug 2009)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs She always gets her hockey equipment ready the night before a game. (greatbritainhockey.co.uk, 02 Aug 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Feel the fear and do it anyway." (greatbritainhockey.co.uk, 02 Aug 2014)
Awards and honours In 2015 she was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE] for services to hockey. (investec.ie, 06 Jan 2015)

She won England Hockey's Women's Performance Award in 2013. (englandhockey.co.uk, 29 Jun 2013)

She was named UK Hockey Writers' Club Player of the Year in 2003, 2007 and 2012. (hockeywritersclub.com, 20 Jan 2016)

She was nominated for the International Hockey Federation [FIH] Young Player of the Year award in 2003. (FIH, 09 Jan 2004)
Famous relatives Her wife Helen Richardson-Walsh has also played hockey for Great Britain, while her younger sister Rachel has played hockey for England. (sport-magazine.co.uk, 28 Nov 2013; englandhockey.co.uk, 08 May 2016)
Ambitions To compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (hellomagazine.com, 27 Apr 2016)
Other information RECORD
In February 2016 in a 1-1 draw with Australia in Perth, she became the most-capped British hockey player by making her 356th international appearance. The record previously belonged to England's Karen Brown. "I've never seen one person gain so much respect from the players around her," said teammate Kirsty Mackay to mark her captain's achievement. (bbc.com, 20 Feb 2016; Twitter.com, 20 Feb 2016)

RETIREMENT
She had planned to retire from the sport at the end of 2014 after England had finished in 11th place at the World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, but after just missing out on gold with England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, she decided to continue until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "The Commonwealth Games ignited my passion for hockey. The [silver] medal made all the difference and I felt that it would be a waste if I stopped now. I was still fit enough and I still wanted to achieve more." (theguardian.com, 09 Jun 2015)

MARRIAGE
After a relationship where they had lived together, and played league hockey for the same club in the Netherlands, she was due to marry Brett Garrard - Great Britain's men's captain at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens - in October 2008, but broke off their engagement not long before the wedding. She then started a relationship with fellow Great Britain player Helen Richardson afterwards. They had been international teammates since 2000, and were both in the Great Britain team that won bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Just over a year later in September 2013 they got married in Henley and both adopted the surname Richardson-Walsh. She says that having her wife in the team requires discipline. "We're very professional in that we draw a line. When we're at hockey we are Kate and Helen, hockey players and teammates. Away from hockey we're Kate and Helen the couple. It's important that line is drawn and to be able to say to each other 'that's not good enough', and not start having a row about it afterwards." (telegraph.co.uk, 15 May 2008; getreading.co.uk, 04 Sep 2013; bbc.com, 21 May 2014; englandhockey.co.uk, 08 May 2016)

CHARITY WORK
She has worked as an ambassador for Access Sport, a charity that transforms lives through sport. (Access Sport Facebook page, 18 Feb 2016; Twitter profile, 29 Mar 2016)