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ENGLAND WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
The England Hockey Women’s Team swept to glory in the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in 2015, winning a first gold medal in 24 years by beating Holland in front of a packed home crowd. The team are an inspiration to girls in this country.
In another milestone for the team, captain Kate Richardson-Walsh received her MBE in 2015, and has also become our most-capped female hockey player after chalking up her incredible 335th appearance. At only 21, Lily Owsley was named Rising Star by the FIH, the game’s international federation.
Many of the team dedicate time outside of playing to help assist in the education and development of others through sport. Alex Danson is a mentor for the Youth Sports Trust and Living for Sport, and the entire squad work closely with sponsors Investec across a wide range of events and programmes.
Forward Hannah McCleod says, “All I want is to be the best in the world at what I do. I want to be able to say I helped inspire women and girls to play sport, be confident and be the best they can be because it is that which makes life truly fulfilling. There is always more than one way to live your life. I choose this way.”
ENGLAND FOOTBALL TEAM (LIONESSES)
England Women’s success at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 inspired a nation. An incredible 2.4 million viewers watched the Lionesses compete in their Semi-Final against Japan, despite it starting at midnight.
Having qualified in style by winning all their qualifying matches on the road to Canada, the team did the nation proud bringing home bronze medals, England’s best ever performance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup.
On their return the team’s achievement was celebrated by the Prime Minister when he invited the Lionesses to 10 Downing Street, and HRH The Duke of Cambridge also welcomed the team to Kensington Palace.
The legacy of the team’s success is clear as attendances in the Women’s Super League were up by 79 per cent in the first weekend after the World Cup. Across the whole season, attendances have increased 48% compared to the previous year with average attendance across the season in WSL1 at over 1,000.
The Lionesses have played an important role in raising awareness of women’s football and opportunities for girls to get involved by completing 166 player appearances in 2015, giving thousands of young people the opportunity to meet their role models.
GB WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM
The women’s GB Weightlifting Team has worked hard, with significant success, to increase women’s participation in the sport. Weightlifting has gone from low female participation levels to there being more women than men competing at the 2016 English Championships.
Much of this success can be attributed to the work of the Women’s GB Weightlifting Team in achieving great results and inspiring home nation junior athletes. Media interest has grown enormously for the sport and the women’s team have embraced this as they strive to tackle the negative stereotypes of weightlifting and promote the sport.
2015 was GB women’s best ever year with the largest number of GB women at any championships, demonstrating a wide range of talent and a great competitive atmosphere.
European Junior & U23 – The women’s team brought home 5 Gold medals and 4 Silvers
Commonwealth Youth – Outstanding performances included a silver medal from the youngest member of the team
World Championships – The whole squad performed outstandingly to produce one of Britain’s best female world championship teams ever. This included one top 10 finish and substantial media interest.
- 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa – Two Golds from Rebekah Tiler, Catrin Jones and a silver from Beatrice Gabell
- 2015 European Youths- Three Golds for GB
- 2015 World Youth Silver – A silver for GB
- 2015 Commonwealth Championships – A silver for England