Nicholls - also known as ‘steaders’ - took time out in 2019 to have a baby and is now preparing for a new challenge juggling motherhood and training.
Having previously combined her performance schedule with university studies, football and more recently her full-time role as Head of Netball at Oakham School, Nicholls is eager to get back on court with the side she calls her second family.
“The last few months for me have been crazy, amazing and tiring, but it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, our little girl Maya is amazing,” she said.
“Although she is my priority and I will now always put her first, I’m excited to get back on court with the girls and get back to being myself and doing what I love.”
When asked about the challenges she may face coming back to elite sport after giving birth, Nicholls showed no qualms:
“I’ve rehabbed before from an ACL injury in 2016, so I know I can be patient with getting back to fitness and know that it’s possible to get back to full strength. The support team at Loughborough has also been great in helping me and understanding my needs to get there.”
A firm fan favourite amongst the local crowds, Lauren is excited to make her return:
“I’m looking forward to getting back out in front of the home crowd. I’ve been around Loughborough for a long time now and have a lot of family and friends who always come out to support. The crowd is amazing at Lightning, whether you’re on court or in the stands with them, they’re always behind you. I still remember the noise in the arena when I stepped back on court after injury, it was definitely a career highlight.”
Head Coach Sara Bayman shared the importance of having experienced players like Lauren in the squad:
“It’s great to have Lauren back in Lightning colours. She has a wealth of experience in this league, and within Lightning, and will contribute hugely on and off the court.”
Lauren is the latest addition to the 2020 side with more players set to be announced in the coming days. Keep your eyes peeled to find out the final line up for Lightning’s upcoming campaign.
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More information can be found here.
Loughborough Lightning 2020 squad so far:
- Nat Panagarry
- Sam May
- Ella Clark
- Hannah Joseph
- Jasmin Odeogberin
- Lucy Parize
- Annabel Roddy
- Suzie Liverseidge
- Alice Harvey
- Beth Gabriel
- Lauren Nicholls