Hockey Team GB Olympic bronze medal winners 'to marry'

Helen Richardson and Kate Walsh
Image caption Helen Richardson and Kate Walsh have been together for five years

Two hockey players who contributed to a Great Britain team bronze in the London 2012 Olympics are to "marry" in a civil partnership ceremony.

Kate Walsh, who was the captain of GB's women's hockey team, has been with midfielder Helen Richardson for five years.

The pair live in Reading and play for the town's hockey club.

"We've been together for five years and we decided we were going to get married," said Ms Walsh.

The couple have been engaged since January and will undergo a civil partnership in Henley on 14 September.

Speaking about playing hockey alongside her partner, she said the two "spur each other on".

Hockey sticks

"We put our hockey heads on when we're at hockey and then when we get away we're Helen and Kate, the couple," she said.

Their entire hockey training squad are invited to the wedding, although Ms Walsh said she would rather not have a "cheesy" guard of honour with hockey sticks.

"You can guarantee that some of those girls will bring their hockey sticks," she said.

Last September, rowers Natasha Page and Sam Townsend, also from Reading, got married at an event attended by fellow Olympians.

Page was part of the women's eight who finished fifth at London 2012, while Townsend was also fifth as part of the men's double scull.

Guests included gold medallist Alex Gregory, 28, who won in the coxless four.

Civil partnership is a legal relationship exclusively for same-sex couples, distinct from marriage.

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