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Olympic gold medal winner Maddie Hinch named Medway Sports Awards sportsperson of the year

By Matthew Panting

Golden girl Maddie Hinch wants to return to Holcombe after insisting there is still unfinished business.

Hinch, who was named sportsperson of the year at last Friday’s Medway Sports Awards, is playing her club hockey in Holland with SCHC.

But she expects to return to Holcombe next season after three great years in Medway.

Maddie Hinch was sportsperson of the year at the Medway Sports Awards. Picture: Andy Jones

“Holcombe is my No.1 (choice), we just have to see how it pans out,” said Hinch.

“I’ve loved it there. I’ve been on part of the journey when I joined.

“We weren’t in the Premiership and now we are, so I want to go back. I want us to get into Europe and compete over there.

“The job’s not done at Holcombe so that’s why I’d like to return.

“I’m not from Kent but I think I’ve been adopted now. I’ve had a great three years at Holcombe and can see myself returning for sure.”

Hinch is encouraged by the growth and potential for further development at Holcombe.

She added: “Where I started was club hockey so it’s fundamental to me.

“The more kids I can get, not just to be a goalkeeper but to play hockey, is so important. There’s so much potential to do such great things.

“Holcombe already is but I think it has so much more to give. I’m excited to get back and see where we can go with it.”

The 28-year-old finished third at the Medway Sports Awards two years ago but Hinch’s penalty shoot-out heroics at the Rio Olympics which saw Great Britain win gold, were enough to take top spot this time around.

“I honestly never saw myself just two years from when I was last here going on the stage as an Olympic champion and picking up this award,” said Hinch.

“It’s amazing how things can change over two years and now I’m just excited by what else I can achieve over the next couple of years.”

Maddie Hinch, centre, collects her award from University of Kent Sport's Graham Holmes and Charlotte Evans, the 2014 winner. Picture: Andy Jones

And on being recognised in Medway, Hinch added: “Of course it meant a lot to me. I’ve been up for a lot of nominations this year, it has been mental, so to be nominated out of a team performance is extra special.

“As a keeper you do get the limelight sometimes but you also spend a lot of time just standing there.”

The awards, expertly hosted by 5 live’s Eleanor Oldroyd, saw sporting talent across Medway recognised during an excellent evening at MidKent College.

Guest of honour was double Olympic gold medal winner Max Whitlock while other guests included Charlotte Evans and Kate French.

Paul Nihill, who competed in four Olympics and won racewalking silver in 1964, became the fourth person inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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