After Hitchin hero’s return from the Rio Olympics, get stuck in to sport with HockeyFest in Letchworth

Hitchin's UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl.

Hitchin's UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl. - Credit: Archant

With millions glued to the our athletes’ gold-laden performances at the Rio Olympics one of the unsung heroes behind their achievements returned to Hitchin this week.

Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport flew back from Brazil after witnessing the Team GB claim a record 67 medals including 27 golds, 23 silvers and 17 bronzes. The administrator, who helped the games become the most successful in our country’s history, told the Comet: “I’m now going to enjoy a couple of days at home in Hitchin to recharge my batteries before returning to Rio to support our fantastic Paralympians as they take their turn to fly the flag for GB. Our athletes have done the nation proud and I hope the UK feels inspired by this success on the world stage.”

She added: “With a record number of female medallists, I hope young girls across the UK feel motivated, by the likes of our hockey team, to make sport a fundamental part of their lives.”

Hitchin resident Danny Pearson believes there should be a gold post box to commemorate local hero Helen Richardson-Walsh after her and partner Kate Walsh played a big part in helping the GB women’s field hockey team to win gold in Rio.

He said: “It’s a great idea to mark Helen’s fantastic achievement. Why should gold post boxes be limited to London 2012?

“Our Rio athletes deserve to be hailed. It’s great we won so many medals, but it might not last forever so we might as well celebrate our sportsmen and women now.”

A spokesman for the Royal Mail confirmed there are no plans to commemorate the Rio Olympics with any further gold post boxes.

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Anyone inspired by Team GB’s hockey heroines in Brazil can have a go for themselves this weekend in Letchworth, where the town’s hockey club is throwing its doors open as part of HockeyFest.

This celebration of the social and friendly aspect of playing hockey is open to all ages and abilities and will be held at Letchworth Hockey Club on Whitethorn Lane from 10am to 4pm tomorrow and on Sunday.