Samantha Quek is an English professional hockey player who has won gold at the Olympics in 2016 and appeared in a number of TV shows.
Birthday: 18th October 1988
Born: Wirral, England
Famous for: Sports
also known as Sam Quek
Samantha Quek grew up in Wirral, a metropolitan of Merseyside in the North of England. She attended Birkenhead High School and Calday Grange Grammar School. Quek was introduced to hockey at school and her early talent led her PE teacher to encourage her to join the Mini Panthers in Wirral.
As a junior Chester HC was Samantha’s first club and she started in the fourth team before quickly gaining recognition and playing for the first team in the National league. During her final season at Chester she was encouraged to train with Bowdon HighTown ladies. After enjoying playing with her friends she fitted into the centralised training squad and gained her first international cap against Argentina in 2008.
Quek earned a Bsc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science at the Leeds Metropolitan University in 2010.
In 2013 Quek played for England at the EuroHockey tournament and then again in the 2014 Commonwealth Games winning silver medals at both events. Quek captained the England team during the 2014 Champions Trophy in Mendoza, Argentina.
Quek also played for the England Hockey team at the European Championships in 2015 in London winning Gold. She notably won Player of the Match in the final vs the Netherlands, who were reigning World and Olympic Champions at the time. In August 2016 she competed in the Rio Olympic Games, winning her 50th cap for Great Britain in the process, with more than 125 combined for both England and GB. The team won the gold medal after beating the Netherlands in the final on penalties, the first women’s hockey gold medal in the Olympics for Great Britain.
In September 2016, a group of Russian hackers calling themselves “Fancy Bears” stole information from the WADA’s database and revealed that Quek, along with fellow Team GB members, had been granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for various prescriptions. Quek’s entry specifically related to the use of an inhaler in 2008 when she was a teenager. Quek responded to the leak, stating that not only had she operated within all sporting guidelines, but that she was primarily concerned that the nature of what these hacks could do to the detriment of future athletes. She wrote an article for the Guardian newspaper titled ‘Pathetic, faceless hackers are trying to drag me and other athletes through the mud’.
Taking a break from sports, in November 2016 Quek participated as a contestant in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and made it to 4th place. She also modelled a sportswear campaign for Littlewoods. She made several other TV show appearances on Play The Whistle and as a presenter on Liverpool FC TV.
She was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List 2017 for services to hockey. She has been dating property developer Thomas Mairs since they met in 2013 and they appeared on TV together in a BBC antiques show.
Quek is behind #MakeMindASport, a campaign by Mindsports Academy aiming to get games such as chess, scrabble and go, recognised as a sport.
*Photo credits provided in references section below where possible. View a list of photographers here.