Hockey player Maddie Hinch, MBE tells the Wellness That Works podcast by WW (Weight Watchers reimagined) that her career as GB & England hockey goalkeeper was the result of a PE teacher’s hunch.
The 32 year old who played a pivotal role in England’s gold medal triumph at the Rio 2016 Olympics, initially complained when she was put in goal at the age of 12.
“I was a good football player and when I started at this new school, the PE teacher said ‘It is hockey next term Maddie and I think you should be goalkeeper.’
I didn’t even know what hockey was and knew from football that goalies do a lot of standing around, but as the new kid I had no say. I was then handed this huge bag of kit that stank,” she says.
It took years for Maddie to be seen as a star player. “I struggled to get picked for teams,” she says.
“I was an athlete and used to running around, so I had my own style of goalkeeping, coming off the line a lot and diving around. That hadn’t been seen before and naturally worried selectors and coaches. I kept getting told I was too ‘small’ or ‘dynamic’.”
She got spotted while standing in for another goalie and says: “I don’t think I would be the keeper I am or achieved what I have done if I hadn’t had quite such a tough start.”
Other highlights from the interview include:
• How the team have kept morale up during lockdown
• How it felt to win a gold for the first time
• Maddie confesses that she has enjoyed being a homebody during the pandemic
• The pandemic has encouraged Maddie to take a step back and make friends and family a top priority.