Nicola White granted the freedom of the Borough of Oldham

Nicola White Freewoman of Oldham
Nicola White is no ordinary 28 year old. She has a wealth of hockey accolades to her name: European Gold, Commonwealth Silver, Olympic Bronze but most recently the pinnacle in any athlete's career an Olympic Gold medal.

Manchester born White scored that all-important third goal in the Olympic Final to take the game to a shoot out against the reigning champions Netherlands where Great Britain's women made history winning their first-ever hockey gold. 

Three months have passed since that magical Friday night where 9 million people were glued to their TV sets to cheer our girls to gold. Since then Nicola has been busy inspiring the nation, most specifically in her home town, Oldham. 

“It has been an absolute whirlwind and the impact of our achievement has been huge, more than I ever thought possible for our sport. Everyone is talking about hockey and so it is important we use this time to inspire, which is what I have mainly been trying to do." she adds "So far I have done a variety of appearances from awards evenings, coaching, meet and greets but the best part of my time has been visiting over 20 schools in the Oldham area. It has been so humbling to give back to my hometown. I’ve met some amazing and talented kids who constantly tell me they want to be an Olympic champion, so it’s music to my ears!”

Nicola was also awarded honoury ‘Freewomen of the Borough of Oldham’ earlier on this month which took her by great surprise: 

“This was so unexpected and I feel privileged to have been awarded the honour. Oldham have always supported me throughout my journey and so to receive this made me feel really proud. It's another moment shared with my friends and family. I will continue to do my best and give back by inspiring the people of Oldham to achieve their dreams too.”

Every athlete has to start somewhere and for Nicola it was picking up a stick for the first time, aged 7 and playing at school, Hulme Grammar in Oldham. 

“I absolutely loved my P.E. lessons and was part of every single team going, but I really did love hockey right from the word go. Apart from hockey, I often competed in swimming, athletics and cross-country for Oldham during my time at school. My other talent was music and I started playing the piano at 7 years old which I managed to keep going and still have a tinkle on now and again!”

Nic White school visit

“The main thing I love about hockey is it’s a team sport. It is such a good feeling when you step on that pitch with your teammates and to win with them makes me feel so proud. I get a massive buzz from trying to eliminate people with skills and it’s a fast game physically and mentally so I love the challenge." 

“You should definitely give hockey a go if you haven’t yet. You will find it so sociable and you can find the perfect club for you, whether it’s large, small, lots of youth teams, elite leagues, the choices are there and it becomes like a family. It is also a great way to keep fit as its more interactive and dynamic than just running on a treadmill!"

Nicola’s top tip for any young aspiring player is to believe in yourself. 

“If you want to make it all the way to the top, make it happen and don’t let anyone stop you! Make sure you are learning everyday by listening to peers and coaches around you. Use their feedback to your advantage and keep setting yourself new challenges to achieve every so often.”

Are you a future Olympian like Nicola White? Are you someone looking to take up the sport or come back after a break? Find your nearest club at