OLYMPIC hockey champion Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE was the guest of honour at Adcote School’s end of year speech day.

Kate, who captained the England and Great Britain field hockey teams for 13 years and led them to win top international medals, gave a speech to students, teachers and parents at the school, in Little Ness, near Oswestry.

The 39-year-old made her mark on the Olympic stage, helping her side to gold and bronze medals at Rio Olympics and London 2012 respectively.

Kate was capped a record 375 times for her country and led her side as they became the first Great Britain womens hockey team had won Olympic gold.

The speech day celebrated the achievements of students and the school as a whole during the past academic year.

Kate praised Adcote’s innovative CLEAR Learning programme, which is woven into every part of school life, to develop core values, skills and strengths in students that will help them succeed in life, such as confidence, leadership and resilience.

She said: “Such values are the reason why 16 of us got to stand on that podium at Rio.”

She revealed she had faced a long personal struggle to build her own confidence at school.

It was only after discovering hockey that she began to find her voice and gain confidence.

“I took to hockey straight away. It was just being part of a team, being part of a group with shared goals. Finding my confidence was a long journey,” she said.

Headteacher Diane Browne said: “We were delighted and honoured to welcome Olympic gold medal winner Kate Richardson-Walsh to talk to our girls and present our prizes at Speech Day.

“She truly is an impressive person who told us about her own experiences of resilience, confidence and leadership.

“She was an inspiration for all who listened to her.”

Mrs Browne went on to give a speech which included prize-givings and the unveiling of plans to introduce a new Performing Arts diploma to the Sixth Form in September 2020.