Sally Walton: Olympic hockey player and coach inspiring self-confidence in others

Sally Walton: Olympic hockey player and coach inspiring self-confidence in others

Sally Walton is still smitten with her sport. After an international career that brought her over 160 caps and a clutch of medals - including Olympic bronze for Great Britain at London 2012 - her devotion to hockey has continued in both outdoor and indoor formats of the game with club sides Olton & West Warwicks and Bowdon Hightown.

With the latter, the former England defender has been a revelation in attack in recent seasons, frequently finishing as top scorer in the Jaffa Super Sixes Trophy, the UK's premier indoor tournament. Now 38, Walton's talents as a coach have also made her one to watch; since 2016, she has been working at the prestigious Royal Grammar School Worcester and has risen to become their head of hockey coaching.

Authenticity and how that quality positively influences young people is something Walton is well placed to talk about. The inclusive culture which characterises women's hockey in Britain is often referenced as a key factor on the road towards Rio 2016, the pinnacle of success. Walton was a part of that journey. "I've always been an advocate for embracing individual differences," she says. "If you've got 31 girls in a squad, you've got 31 very different ways of driving a gold medal standard."

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