Dry Doddington villagers turned out in force to wish their first Olympian, hockey player Shona McCallin, and her Team GB squad success in Rio.
More than 40 residents met on the village green to send Shona a video message.
Shona’s grandmother, Eva Nullis, on her mobility scooter, ‘GRAN 1’, was in attendance along with other well-wishers including former babysitters, sports coach, schoolmates, neighbours and family.
Eva commented: “There are four generations of hockey players in our family and we are all so proud of Shona and so excited to see her playing in the Olympics.”
Other messages of goodwill included a card from Shona’s primary school, Long Bennington C of E School, with a good luck message from every single child.
Shona said: “I was so humbled after receiving my card and all the messages of support. A huge thank you to all, I’m really touched. I feel dreams do come true and will be giving it my all for the next few weeks.”
Twenty-four-year-old former KGGS student Shona starting playing hockey at the age of six with Newark Hockey Club.
Her mother Wendy said Shona had devoted most of her life to the sport she loves.
“Her commitment and single-minded ambition is amazing. We are also so incredibly happy and proud for her,” said Wendy, who will be travelling to Rio to watch her daughter in action.
Shona made her international debut on England’s under-16 squad and went on to captain the under-21s to fourth spot in the 2013 Junior World Cup – their highest ever placing.
Playing with the seniors, Shona helped England to win gold at the Women’s European Championships last year (pictured, right).
Shona and the GB hockey team will not be in the opening ceremony as they play a match the following day. Their first game is against Australia at half past midnight (UK time) on Sunday morning.