Great Britain hockey captain Kate Walsh admits post-Olympics 'low'

By Adrian WarnerSports News correspondent, BBC London
British Hockey stars on road to 2016 Rio Games

Great Britain captain Kate Walsh admits she felt "low" after funding issues meant she had to return to work following Olympic bronze-medal success.

Walsh, 32, says the bulk of the team's funding is not available until nearer Rio 2016, meaning that they have, for now, returned to part-time training.

"After the Games you have the buzz and high initially," she told BBC Sport. "And then there was definitely a low.

"Now we have no funding as individual players. I've been working part-time."

GB women pick up hockey bronze

Great Britain's women won their first Olympic medal for two decades by beating New Zealand in the bronze-medal match.

In December, it helped hockey receive a £500,000 budget increase to £15.5m in UK Sport's Olympic 2016 funding programme.

But Walsh, who came back from a broken jaw to lead Team GB to success, said most players have had to return to work or resume their studies.

When the majority of funding is released nearer to the Rio Games, the squad will be able to resume full-time training.

"We rode on the wave of the media when we went out to clubs, showing the medals off," she said as the squad gathered this week for the first time since London.

"Now we have all had to go out and find work because our funding got shifted.

"I have been training in the morning and then working in the afternoon at a PR company."

Leicester Ladies forward Hannah Macleod, whose Olympic medal was stolen from a London nightclub before being returned, said adjusting to her job as a nutritionist has been difficult.

"When you get back to work, it is easy to think whether you should get on with a normal life," she said.

"I thought 'no chance'. As much as I love my work, I would much rather be running around after a white ball, day in and day out."

British hockey has just received a timely boost with the announcement that the World League semi-final will take place in London this summer.

The prestigious event, where England, Argentina, Australia, China and four other qualifiers will battle for a place at the 2014 World Cup and the World League Finals, will be staged in Chiswick between 22-30 June.

The Olympic Park will not be reopened in time for the tournament, but is set to stage the 2015 European Championships.

"We need to build on that success of the Olympic Games in London," added midfielder Georgie Twigg.

"To have the opportunity to host another world-level tournament is going to build on that momentum and the buzz around hockey. It is a fantastic time."

Top Stories