Two Olympians from the British women’s field hockey team held a civil partnership ceremony in Henley-on-Thames on Saturday, September 14.
Kate Walsh, 33, and partner Helen Richardson, 31, were recipients of bronze medals for their performance at the 2012 Olympic Games.
As members of England’s national hockey team, Team GB (Great Britain), Walsh was the captain of the Olympic team and plays defense. Richardson is a midfielder.
“We’ve been together for five years and decided we were going to get married,” Walsh told the BBC News.
The two ladies got engaged in January and invited their entire team to join them for the celebration. Walsh predicted that some of the other players would bring their hockey sticks to the celebration to form a guard of honor (a celebratory tunnel made with the sticks), an idea Walsh called “cheesy.”
“You can guarantee that some of those girls will bring their hockey sticks,” Walsh said.
Although the couple have been dating for five years, when they are on the field they are all business, Walsh explained.
“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, according to BBC News.
The newlyweds plan to spend their honeymoon in Northern Italy.
England has had same-sex civil unions since 2004, and approved marriage equality in 2013; the first weddings are expected to take place around summer 2014.