Maidenhead Olympian's kit stolen from car just weeks before Tokyo 2020

Shay Bottomley

An Olympic gold medallist from Maidenhead is seeking information after equipment worth more than £3,000 was stolen from her car.

Giselle Ansley MBE, who won gold with Team GB’s women’s hockey team at Rio 2016, said that valuable items had been stolen from her car including four hockey sticks, three pairs of shoes, gloves and shin pads.

An Adidas stick bag and a Titleist golf bag with two clubs were also stolen.

Ansley, who is set to fly to Tokyo for the Summer Olympics in two weeks, said that the theft had impacted her preparation for the Games.

“I’d packed my car the previous night as I had a really busy day coming up,” she said.

“I put all of my kit in the back of my car; all of my sticks, shin pads, bags – basically everything.

“I came out in the morning, and it had all gone – they’d popped my boot open and taken the lot.”

The hockey player, who is a defender for Dutch outfit H.O.C. Gazellen-Combinatie, was surprised as her car had been parked on her driveway at the time.

She had planned to meet her teammates at 8am for a full-day’s training.

“I had to turn up to training that morning, although, thankfully, some new sticks had arrived for me so I was able to use one, but I had to borrow some shin pads from someone else and use a really old pair of shoes – I could barely do the laces up,” she added.

“Fortunately, I’ve managed to order a load of new equipment which is arriving today so I should be good to go again.

“It’s just really inconvenient and not something you want to wake up to, particularly two weeks before you’re leaving for the Olympics.”

The Team GB star said that she hoped the equipment would soon be found, as the nature of the possessions would not be of much use to anyone who is not a hockey player, but she fears that the thieves may try to sell them online.

“I’ve been looking on Facebook Marketplace, as I found my bike on there when that was stolen before,” she added.

Thames Valley Police has been notified, so anybody with information should contact the police on 101.

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