Gemma McCaw revelling in '100 per cent support' from Richie as she chases Olympic hockey dream

Gemma McCaw has opened up about the concerns she had with coming out of retirement as she juggles life as a first-time mother and chasing her Olympic dreams with the Black Sticks.

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The former hockey international is playing in the national league pre-season and could add to her 200-plus caps for the Black Sticks. Source: 1 NEWS

McCaw announced her retirement from hockey in 2017 but opted to return to the sport in August and has since been named in the Black Sticks 2020 squad which is preparing for the Olympics in Tokyo.

The decision to return wasn't easy for McCaw though, who gave birth to her and husband Richie's first child Charlotte last December.

McCaw told Woman's Day she was concerned what impact a return to hockey could have on their daughter with all the travel involved.

"It's definitely harder now that I'm a mum, but it also means there's a lot more to play for," McCaw said.

"The dream is that next year, if I make the squad, Lottie will be in the stands at the Olympics watching me give it my all."

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Kayla Whitelock and Gemma McCaw turned out with their teammates for the first time today. Source: 1 NEWS

However, the 246-cap veteran said that decision was made easier thanks to an inspirational quote she happened to come across.

"I was flicking through a little book and came across a quote that said, 'It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself,'" McCaw said.

"Something about it just hit me. I couldn't get it out of my head and that's when I realised I had to give it another shot."

McCaw also said she's been fully supported by Richie, who has embraced fatherhood.

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The former All Blacks captain was spotted on the sideline with wife Gemma and daughter Charlotte Rose enjoying the game. Source: 1 NEWS

"He told me he'll do absolutely everything he can to help make it happen," she added. "The fact he understands totally what this means to me and how much I'll need to put into it means so much.

"He just supports me 100 per cent."