Driven on by watching her club mates create Olympic hockey history for Great Britain in Rio, Richmond’s Holly Munro admits she is more determined than ever to join in the fun next time around.
Last month, Great Britain women etched their name into the record books as they won a tense shootout against the Netherlands to clinch a first ever Olympic women’s hockey title.
For Munro, watching on eagerly back home, it was proof that hard work pays dividends having seen firsthand the dedication of the likes of Hollie Webb, Giselle Ansley and Georgie Twigg.
All three are on the centralized national training programmes at Bisham Abbey although they ply their club trade at Surbiton Hockey Club in the women’s Premier Division.
And Munro – who also turned out for the same team, but is now switching her attentions to making the grade with the University of Birmingham where she is shortly about to begin a degree in psychology – is keen to make the step up to senior international level herself and help Great Britain defend their gold at Tokyo 2020.
“It was fantastic to watch the girls win gold, I watched it with my family and my mum was cycling,” said Munro, who benefits from being a part of the SSE Next Generation Programme.
“It’s going to be great to raise the profile of hockey in this country. I played with Hollie Webb – who scored the winning penalty – and Giselle Ansley and Georgie Twigg last season.
“Watching them go on to win gold is so inspirational and makes me more determined to want to get to that level.
“I think Tokyo is a realistic target for me, we’ll see how this first year at university goes as it’s going to be a balancing act between my new studies and playing hockey.
“But it’s something on the horizon I can aim for.
“I think it’s just about gaining experience, which being on the centralized programme helps with. You can also work on your fitness and stamina more and improve all round.”
Munro’s immediate focus however will be on first settling in at university as well as trying to earn a place on the team for the Women’s Junior World Cup in Chile which starts in late November.
“We’ve got a training session coming up in a couple of weeks where there will be really stiff competition,” added Munro, who was speaking after attending an SSE Roadshow in Reading.
“If that goes well then hopefully I’ll be in contention for the Junior World Cup which is very exciting.
“I’m pleased with how things are going for me at the minute. I actually started playing football but my mum was a hockey player and I gave it a try.
“I know it sounds funny but I just loved it straight away, I played for Richmond first and then Surbiton and it’s gone from there really.”
SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen