Meet Nicci Daly who will be blogging for WiSP Sports as she combines her two passions of playing hockey for Ireland and being a Motor Racing Engineer.
“Born and raised into a motor racing family, I spent every weekend since birth at Mondello Park racing circuit with my dad Vivion Daly. Being apart of his team and helping out with the car from a young age by cleaning tyres and polishing bodywork was where my love for the sport started.
My uncle, Derek Daly, raced in Formula One and Indy cars, and my cousin Conor Daly is now racing at the top level in the United States in Indycar.
I never got to race as I was busy playing other sports like Gaelic Football. I represented Dublin at under 14 and again at senior level. Once I started secondary school I started playing hockey … reluctantly!
After about a year of being stubborn to the idea of playing hockey, I came round to the idea and I loved it. I went on to represent my province (Leinster) at Under 16, Under 18 and Under 21. I got my first international hockey cap in 2010 and since then have represented Ireland over 120 times.
I juggled hockey with college to complete a degree in mechanical engineering before moving to the UK to do a Masters in Motorsport Engineering.
I continued to juggle hockey commitments with my career as I worked for Ford Motor company as a test engineer for 1.5 years. After that I focused my attention back to Olympic qualification for Rio.
Halving narrowly missed out on qualification, losing to China on sudden death penalties it meant that my hockey commitments this summer would change and allow me to switch my focus back to my career.
So on April 18th, after playing in the Hawkes Bay Invitational Hockey Cup in New Zealand with the Irish team, I will relocate to Indianapolis to take up a position with Juncos Racing as an Assistant Engineer in the Pro Mazda Racing Series.
It’s an exciting time in my life as a woman in sport and I look forward to sharing my experiences of both my hockey and Motorsport careers over the next few months here on WiSP Sports.