CULLEN Crista < Back  
Sport Hockey
CGA England   
Gender Women
Born 20 Aug 1985 in Boston, ENG
Height1.82 m
Weight 74 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Nairobi, KEN
Occupation Athlete, Marketing
Languages English, Swahili
Higher education Business Studies - Nottingham Trent University: Nottingham, ENG
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She began playing hockey at age nine at Banda School in Nairobi, Kenya.
Why this sport? It was one of the main sports at her school and she loved the team environment.
Name of coach Danny Kerry [national], GBR
Preferred position / style / stance / technique Defender
International Debut
Year 2003
Competing for England
Opponent Scotland
Location Manchester, ENG
General Interest
Nicknames Cris, Crystal, Kenyan Warrior. (GB Hockey Media Guide 2008; bbc.co.uk, 21 Jun 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement Competing in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and winning the bronze medal at the 2010 World Cup in Rosario, Argentina. (Athlete, 03 Jul 2011)
Most influential person in career Her friends and family. (Athlete, 03 Jul 2011)
Hero / Idol English hockey player Jennie Bimson. (Athlete, 03 Jul 2011)
Injuries She suffered a calf injury in November 2015 forcing her out of the first two matches at the 2015 World League Finals in Rosario, Argentina. (bbc.co.uk, 14 Dec 2015)

A foot injury troubled her for most of the 2011 season. (cristacullen.com, 30 Sep 2011)

She needed cortisone injections for a wrist injury in order to compete at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The injury required two operations once the Games were over. (telegraph.co.uk, 27 Jul 2010)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs Before each match she always straightens her hair and puts her right shin pad on before her left. (thisislondon.co.uk, 20 Jul 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Train hard, play easy." (Athlete, 31 Jul 2008)
Awards and honours She was named in the International Hockey Federation's [FIH] Women's All Star team in 2006, 2007 and 2010. (FIH, 31 Dec 2010)

She was named Great Britain's Hockey Player of the Year for 2006 and was shortlisted for the FIH Young Player of the Year award for 2008. (England Hockey, 17 Sep 2009)

She was named the Hockey Writers' Club Player of the Year in 2005 and 2007. (cristacullen.co.uk, 24 Apr 2016)
Famous relatives Her brother Grey represented Kenya in rugby sevens at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Her father Garry was a professional golfer and her mother represented Kenya in squash. Her grandfather was a boxer. (theguardian.com, 09 Oct 2010)
Ambitions To compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (cristacullen.co.uk, 24 Apr 2016)
Other information OCCUPATION
She works as the head of marketing at Duke's Sports Travel, in Market Deeping, England. (Facebook profile, 27 May 2016; cristacullen.co.uk, 24 Apr 2016)

RETIREMENT AND COMEBACK
She retired from international duty after the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but in July 2015 she announced that she was making a comeback to international competition following a conversation with coach Danny Kerry. During her time away she worked in Kenya at a security firm, gained her private pilot's license, set up a CrossFit business, as well as working as a volunteer for a wildlife conservation project. (uk.eurosport.yahoo.com, 13 Jun 2013; bbc.co.uk, 21 Jul 2015; bbc.co.uk, 17 Nov 2015; greatbritainhockey.co.uk, 21 Jul 2015; LinkedIn profile, 2016)

FROM KENYA TO ENGLAND
She was born in Boston, England but spent the first 12 years of her life living in Kenya. She returned to England to attend boarding school at age 12. (greatbritainhockey.co.uk, 2006)