Team GB Olympic hockey stars have civil partnership ceremony

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Two members of the British women’s field hockey team who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games have entered a civil partnership.

Kate Walsh, 33, and Helen Richardson, 31, celebrated their civil partnership with a ceremony in Henley-on-Thames on Saturday.

The pair are both members of the England national hockey team, and won a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games as part of Team GB. Defender Walsh captained the Olympic team, while Richardson plays in midfield.

Speaking to the BBC before the ceremony, Ms Walsh said: “We’ve been together for five years and decided we were going to get married.”

The couple got engaged in January, and invited the entire hockey training squad to the reception.

While Ms Walsh said she didn’t want to have a “cheesy” guard of honour with hockey sticks, she said: “You can guarantee that some of those girls will bring their hockey sticks.”

Speaking about playing professional sport alongside her partner, Ms Walsh said the two “spur each other on.”

“We put our hockey heads on when we’re at hockey and then when we get away we’re Helen and Kate, the couple,” she added.

The couple announced that they would be spending their honeymoon travelling around northern Italy.

The bronze medal the pair helped to win at last year’s Olympics was the first British women’s hockey medal in 20 years.