Sarah Thomas adds her name to list of retirees

Olympics 2012 Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas, 32, has announced her retirement from the Great Britain hockey team. Sarah, born in Merthyr Tydfil, has represented Great Britain 65 times and has played for the Great Britain team in the 2008 Olympics and most recently, at the London 2012 Olympic, where she won Bronze.

Speaking for Hockey Wales, Chief Executive Helen Bushell said "Sarah is an inspirational person and athlete who has reached the very top of her career in Hockey. She is a role model to all players in Wales, a nation that is proud of her. On behalf of Hockey Wales we sincerely wish Sarah well in her future chosen career and look forward to working with her for the good of Hockey in Wales".

1. Sarah Thomas Welsh Star

Sarah made a meteoric rise through the Welsh ranks, which was recognised by her winning the BBC Wales Junior Sports Personality of the Year in 1997, when she received her first Welsh cap at the age of 16. Sarah has also captained and represented Wales on a number of occasions with the last appearance being the 2010 Commonwealth Games where Wales battled to 9th place.

Leaving Wales to play hockey in Holland for Rotterdam, this helped her win a place in the Great Britain squad for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Sarah made an immediate impact on the Great Britain squad, with her goal being the catalyst for a Great Britain come back against Argentina tying the game up at 2 – 2. Sarah stayed with Great Britain up to their most recent success at the London 2012 Games and even scored the final goal in the Bronze medal match against New Zealand.

We caught up with Sarah and first asked why she felt now was the right time to retire "Having won a medal I feel extremely content with my career and what I achieved. Unfortunately you can't play hockey forever and therefore I made the decision to retire at a time where I still loved the sport and felt that I was still playing well. There always comes a time to move on and this is no different. I have new challenges that lie ahead and I am thoroughly enjoying working at Firefly (sports recovery devices)."

In response to our question on what it was like playing for Great Britain Sarah said "Unbelievable, it was such a privilege to play for my country and I felt so proud standing on the field singing the anthem before each game began during the Olympic Games. I have so many special memories and have played alongside so many amazing people, I count myself very lucky."

"Looking back now though there are lots of wonderful memories from training days to tournaments but without doubt the one that stands out is August 10th, the day we won the bronze medal. It was the most perfect day, blue sky, sun shining, scoring a goal and winning v NZ with my family and friends cheering me on."

Sarah also added "My parents have been my constant source of support since I was 13 years old when I began playing and that continued throughout. Without them I would never have achieved my dream of playing in an Olympic Games and winning a medal. Also a big thanks to Dowlais LHC in particular Linda Treharne and Marcus Powell who were there from the start to the finish, and Margaret Medlow who gave me such a solid foundation from which my hockey career could grow."