Following a lengthy period of concussion and recovery, Rio 2016 gold medallist Nicola White will be leaving the Great Britain Hockey centralised programme.
A key member of the England and Great Britain’s women’s teams since making her debut in 2009, Nicola has earned a total of 186 caps to date, scoring seventeen times and winning fourteen medals in her international career.
Nicola is also one of a handful of British women to have won two Olympic hockey medals, having scored three goals on the way to gold in Rio – including in the final – after being part of the side that won bronze at London 2012. Her successes also include a dramatic European gold medal for England in 2015 as they beat the Netherlands on a shootout to win in front of a packed Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Unfortunately, Nicola has not been able to play since suffering a concussion in March 2018 during a friendly against Ireland. The past 20 months have been incredibly challenging as Nicola has continued to work through her concussion and associated symptoms. We are hugely appreciative of the extensive and wide-ranging medical expertise from our partners at the English Institute of Sport throughout this time. Nicola’s own wider network has been hugely supportive during a very challenging time, and we would like to place on record our gratitude for that. Looking forward, the door remains open for Nicola to return in the future.
Ed Barney, Great Britain Hockey’s Performance Director, commented: “Everyone at England and Great Britain Hockey has huge admiration for the way in which Nicola has approached the past 20 months. Her concussion has been incredibly tough, and she has continued to persevere, fight and do everything within her power to recover. We have done our best to support Nicola and will continue to do what we can over the coming months. We are sad that the time has come to make a decision about her participation in the central programme, but we hope that she’ll be back out on a hockey pitch as soon as possible.”
Danny Kerry, coach to Nicola for eight years, commented: “I was fortunate to work with Nicola for a long time, and her two Olympic medals, World Cup medal and multiple Commonwealth and European medals are [a] testimony to the playing qualities that she brought to the team. She brought fast hands and an excellent innate understanding of where to position and lead. Nicola was also a real character within the team, a quality which I will always remember. I wish her all the best for her future, and I hope our paths will continue to cross.”