As far back as I can remember I’ve been sport mad, growing up I tried everything but my main sports were football, hockey and golf.
I played all at club level and but when I was put forward for county trials with hockey I decided to focus on that as my main sport. So from the age of 14 my weeks were spent fitting in as many hockey sessions as possible along side my normal school work and my weekends playing ladies hockey on a Saturday and junior level on a Sunday.
I was then lucky enough to go to university in America on a sports scholarship. I spent 4 years in Virginia and Boston and for the first time I was introduced to strength and conditioning and how it can aid you in your sport. I came back fitter and stronger than I’d ever been and also more confident in my self.
Shortly after returning from university I was invited to trial for the Scotland hockey team – something that had always been just a dream to me. I remember that day like it was yesterday and could walk you through all the drills we did. After that day the head coach asked me to come back… I had an in, as long as I could show him what I was capable of I might just have a chance. Thus began an extremely hard couple of months. I had secured a job down in London however needed to be at training on a Tuesday and Sunday in Scotland. I racked up a lot of air miles in a very short amount of time… And got a taste for coffee! But it was all worth it as that winter I was selected for the indoor team and got my first taste of international competition, but I wanted more. I kept training and in May 2012 I was privileged to receive my first outdoor cap for Scotland against South Africa. It was a fantastic experience singing our anthem and playing alongside my team mates, and it was made even sweeter when I scored in the final seconds.
It’s been over 3 years since that moment and I’ve been to two European Championships, two world league competitions, one commonwealth games, travelled the world and amounted 75 caps (and counting).
Some days it’s hard to get out of bed at 5am to go to the gym before work or to leave work and go to training when you’re really tired or your friends are going out but when I think about it I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love hockey, being this fit and playing for my country.
To find out more about Nikki and all our other ambassadors please check out our ambassador page.