My series on outstanding British women Olympians continues today with OlyJane Sixsmith MBE, Britain’s best known hockey player.
Born on 5th September 1967 in Sutton Coldfield, Jane took up hockey at the age of twelve after she was told that she could no longer play for a boys’ football team. She went on to play hockey at club level for her home town was chosen for England’s under-18 squad.
Jane played as a forward scoring many goals for England and Great Britain in many competitions. She is the only British Hockey player to play for Team GB in four consecutive Olympics. Her greatest achievement came in 1992 in Barcelona when she captained the team to a bronze medal.
After retiring from international hockey in 2000 Jane stated:
“Sport has opened up so many opportunities. I’ve travelled the world, competed at every major tournament, winning medals at European, Commonwealth and Olympic level. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my sporting career and wouldn’t change it for anything. If you never have a go, you’ll never know!”
She takes the promotion of sport very seriously and now works for Birmingham City Council as the hockey developer. This involves taking hockey into primary schools, promoting the sport and trying to “ignore the looks of consternation on teachers’ faces at the prospect of excited nine-year-olds chasing each other around with big sticks”.