KATE Richardson-Walsh OBE has been announced as the guest speaker for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards.

The captain of the Team GB hockey side who won gold at Rio 2016 is excited ahead of the event on Thursday, November 23, at Sixways Stadium.

“I am honoured and looking forward to attending the 16th annual Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards,” said Richardson-Walsh, 37.

The leading appearance holder for both England and Great Britain with 375 Richardson-Walsh has been widely accredited with building up and maintaining team morale within the camp at major tournaments such as the Olympics.

Despite a torrid time in the 2014 World Cup with England the captain was influential in picking the players up and giving them the belief to win at the Olympics and two years later they beat the Netherlands in the final at Rio.

“This event is our chance to honour our local sportsmen and women, coaches, volunteers, clubs and officials,” said chief executive officer of the partnership Stephen Brewster.

“To be able to invite them to an evening with someone of Kate’s sporting calibre is a real privilege.”

Since her retirement from playing hockey Richardson-Walsh has turned to coaching and inspiring the next generation of players.

“These awards are more than just a celebration of medals won and targets achieved,” said Richardson-Walsh who hails from Manchester.

“I am looking forward to meeting and inspiring the everyday heroes that make sport accessible for everyone."

Previous special guests of the evening include Sharron Davies MBE, Gail Emms MBE and Sascha Kindred CBE.

Award nominations are open until Sunday, September 17, at 11.59pm for those who deserve recognition at sportspartnershiphw.co.uk/sportsawards.

For more details on the awards or sponsorship packages contact Sarah Mackay on s.mackay@worc.ac.uk or 01905 855543.