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Bianca Rose Langham-Pritchard (nee Langham) (Member 2007)
b. 29 May 1975
As a 14 year-old playing senior hockey with Hobart's Prince of Wales Wellington Club, Bianca was first selected to play for Tasmania in an underage state team. This was the beginning of an illustrious career.
Bianca's outstanding improvement and her well-developed skills caught the eye of the Australian selectors and, at the young age of 17, she was offered an Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) scholarship, requiring her to relocate to Perth, WA with the rest of the Australian squad. While she remained there until 2002, Bianca returned regularly to play club hockey and fulfil her role as an ambassador for her sport in Tasmania.
Bianca's representative record is superb. She played in 136 international games for Australia, mostly as a half back, scoring 37 goals for the Hockeyroos.
In 1998, at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, she was part of Australia's gold-medal-winning team and, in the same year, won another gold medal at the World Cup. In 1999 the team won a further gold at the Champions Trophy and followed this with a bronze medal at the 2000 Champions Trophy and another bronze at the Manchester Commonwealth Games of 2002.
As well as maintaining her international commitments, Bianca played in the National Hockey League, first with Darwin in 1993 and 1994, then with South Australia in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, when Tasmania entered the competition, Bianca played with, and captained, the Van Demons' side.
During her international career, Bianca was coached by the hugely successful Australian player and coach, Ric Charlesworth. It was during his stewardship that she experienced the highs and lows of an international sporting career.
Despite her successes and obvious talents, Bianca felt the ultimate disappointment of missing selection for two Olympic Games – in Atlanta in 1996 and again in Sydney 2000 – even though she had been a member of both squads. Bianca dealt with these two heartbreaking setbacks with both dignity and great determination, always aiming to reach her personal best. A lesser person may have given it away, but Bianca continued to represent her country and retired after a superb career at the conclusion of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
Personal recognition came her way as a recipient of a Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS) scholarship from 1990 to 2002 and an AIS scholarship from 1992 to 2002. In 1998 she was voted both the female and overall TIS Athlete of the Year.