17 May 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.

The Olympic Games. Three words representing the sporting event many children and adults dream of, and I was no exception.

When I was asked to join the GB Programme two and a half years ago, Paris seemed like a mile off. As only an amateur sport, with fortunate but minimal funding from UK Sport, it was very important to me to combine pursuing my chosen career in law alongside my hockey aspirations. In January 2024, I agreed with Onside Law that I would need to focus on my hockey and move to part time, as the majority of my week would now be spent intensely training for a spot in Paris. At this stage, the firm’s excitement was probably greater than mine! I always wanted to ensure I remained in the present and not think too far ahead. But here we are… in the final stages of the build up to the Olympic Games.

Over the past few weeks, we have been in a block of training described by our S&C coach as ‘the crucible’. Essentially, it’s been extremely tough! Early mornings and late afternoons have seen us spend hours running up and down the pitch, predominantly in the pouring rain, focusing on our ability to deliver ‘our game’ consistently.

This block of training has just been completed culminating with a short trip to Madrid where we played against Spain in a series of matches. A very valuable trip (as well as a bit of sun!), as we continue to make strides forwards as a team. In the coming weeks, our 3-month long training block at Bisham will come to an end and we will be moving down to Lee Valley as a squad to compete in the Pro League. 8 games in 14 days (much like the set up of the Olympic games) will be played out against China, USA, India and Australia. We are all playing for our place in the Squad, which will be selected in the coming months, so we need to perform in competition with our team mates, which can be difficult, and no one wants to pick up an injury at this stage.

Away from the pitch, and with my legs well and truly rested, I have been kept busy on various projects with Onside. Reviewing sponsorship agreements and various bundling of document requirements for the litigation team continue to keep me occupied, focusing on the lives of other athletes is an easy distraction from my own and the pressure we start to face as selection nears ever closer!

Flora Peel