6 Jun 24

Flora Peel is a paralegal at Onside Law and GB hockey player. Flora made her international debut with England in February 2022 and won Gold with England at the Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2022. The midfielder earned her first Great Britain call-up in December 2022 for the team's Pro League trip to Argentina and continues to combine her GB Hockey commitments with her legal career at Onside Law. Welcome to Flora’s Countdown to the Olympic Games in Paris, where she intends to share her experiences and quest to become an Olympian and bring home a medal for Great Britain.

Nearly a week ago now we made the move over from the West to the East of London, as our Olympic preparations continue to be in full swing. The Pro League, a series of mini tournaments comprising of the best teams in the world, is currently taking place in London. So leaving behind our training home of Bisham Abbey, we are now accustomed to our ‘match home’ at the Olympic park in Stratford. A very inspiring and impressive venue, with lifelong memories for so many of us having watched (or in one instance played!) as GB brought home a Bronze in London 2012.

This tournament sees us playing Australia, China, India and the USA in front of our home sell out crowd, who have so far not disappointed! We are now half way through the games, with a lot of positives as well as learnings as we continue to build and move forwards as a team. With only 50 days to go, the focus is now very much on the Olympic Games and ensuring the team is in the best possible shape come game 1 v Spain.

On Saturday 1 June, I was very fortunate to make my 50th GB and England cap, in a game against USA. Caps are something we as players never take for granted, as you never really know what is around the corner, and pulling on the shirt to represent your country is truly special.

This coming weekend, we play Australia and India in a sold out double header with the GB men. We will remain in camp until the following Wednesday when the tournament comes to an end. Whilst in camp, our nutritionist will continue to create new and exciting menus as us athletes can be rather demanding!

Although life in camp is always very busy – full of various briefings and debriefings, extra training sessions, player meetings and physio support, I always find the ability to jump back into my working world a needed and welcomed change. It is challenging balancing my legal career with my hockey career at this stage, though as we get closer to The Games it helps that Onside Law understand the commitments required to perform in an elite sporting environment.

It is difficult to focus on too much other than hockey during this match period and my capacity to work as a paralegal will start to reduce each day as the focus narrows down to Paris. Once the Pro League ends we face the deadline for selection, which is always hard as we won’t all make the final squad. But for the moment our focus is on Australia and India, as cliched as that may sound!

Flora Peel