Click each image below for facts about our Sporting Ambassadors
1. Sport and Event
2. Currently living in
4. Highest Accolade
Representing Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games
I first started playing handball in 2008 after being selected through the Talent Identification Scheme hosted by Sir Steve Redgrave. I had previously played Hockey for England U18 and the experience I gained there helped me gain a spot in the British Handball team. As soon as I started playing I was hooked. After successfully completely numerous tough trials and training camps I was selected to be part of the World Class Handball Programme and train as a full time athlete at a handball academy in Denmark. A few months later I played my first ever match for GB against Luxembourg, we won and I scored the opening goal which because it was GB's first ever game in the new era it was an achievement I will never forget.
I spent one year training twice a day six days a week in Denmark and absorbing the culture of handball and taking everything in. Handball is an incredibly popular professional sport all across Europe so it was the ideal place to improve my game. Unfortunately with a minority sport comes funding issues. Due to a lack of funding most of the women's team had to re-locate to Norway to play for a team that could help with our living expenses but also provide us with the right training environment. Again Norway is great for handball, its incredibly popular and the standard is very high. Norway have won everything there is to win in the sport and continue to be the number one handball nation. I had fantastic opportunities over my two years in Norway and got to train with some of the best players in the world, including 4- 5 that went on to win Gold at London 2012.
I stayed in Norway for 2 years until the Great Britain team decided to centralise in London for the last year before the Olympics. We were based in Crystal Palace as a whole team so it was great to train everyday with each other and really work on being the best prepared team at the Olympics. That year flew by and before we knew it was the Olympic Games!
I was lucky enough to be selected to represent Team GB and out of the 3500 that first tried out for the team through the sporting giants campaign, only two of us finally made the Olympic team. It was the most amazing experience of my life and one I will never forget. My favourite part was walking out for our first game and hearing all the fans cheer for us to the very last touch of the ball. It was incredible to have such an amazing home crowd support. Unfortunately our inexperience in big games and the sheer brilliance of the other teams in our group meant that we didn't qualify through to the quarter finals but we gave all the teams good competitive matches and can be proud of how far we came in such a short time.
As a result of my performance at the Games I was offered my first professional contract in Denmark for 1st Division side SK Aarhus. I joined the team almost straight after the Olympic flame went out and have had a thoroughly enjoyable season there. I'm now 29 years old and the last 5 years of training at such a high intensity has really taken its toll on my body. I have after months of deliberation decided to return home to the UK and spend time with my family and friends. My aim now is to try and raise the standard of handball in the UK and make it a more recognised sport, especially for girls. Its the perfect sport for the UK, its indoors, fast paced, action packed and a great team game, everyone is involved with all players attacking and defending. I have no idea why it is not bigger here, especially as Europe go crazy over the game with matches attracting well over 20,000 spectators.
I'm really excited to be an ambassador for Suffolk Sport and hope I can introduce more people to not only playing handball but getting active and involved in sport generally. I would love to find the next handball champion in Suffolk and hope to set up an academy here in the future to help develop the best players in the region. Currently the region has no representation in any of the youth teams and I hope my influence, experience and coaching can help to change that.
6. Your sporting hero
7. Random fact about you
I have a terrible phobia of driving or walking over bridges especially when there is water underneath! I always think the car is going to get blown over the side!