Samantha Ann Quek, MBE (born 18 October 1988) is an English former field hockey player and television personality. She played as a defender for both the England and Great Britain teams, wearing squad number 13, and won gold as part of the British team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Quek started playing hockey whilst at Birkenhead High School, and attended trials for the Wirral under-12 team. She was selected to play for Wirral County at the Merseyside Youth Games, and the team won the tournament. She was selected again the following year, when the team was victorious once more. She then joined a team called Mini Panthers, where she was coached by the team organiser Peter Cartmel, who had earlier selected her for the Wirral County team.
Quek played as a defender and went on to represent both the England and Great Britain teams, wearing squad number 13. In 2005, Quek was part of the England team that won the Girl's (Under-18s) Four Nations Invitational Tournament by defeating Holland on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the final. She won gold as part of the Great Britain Team for the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival. She was also part of the team that were runners-up to Germany at the 2006 Women's EuroHockey Junior Championship. She won her first Great Britain international cap, aged 19 and whilst still at university, in a goalless draw against Argentina 2007. She made her England debut the following year.
In August 2016, Quek competed in the Rio Olympic Games. In the group stage, the team won all five of their matches, defeating Australia 2-1, India 3-0, Argentia 3-2, Japan 2-0 and the United States 2-1. A 3-1 quarter-final win over Spain and a 3-0 defeat of New Zealand saw Great Britain reach the final. The team defeated the Netherlands on penalties after a 3-3 draw, winning the first women's hockey gold medal in the Olympics for Great Britain. Quek won her 50th cap for Great Britain during the competition, taking her to more than 125 combined for both England and Great Britain.
In September 2016, a group of Russian hackers calling themselves "Fancy Bears" hacked into the WADA database and revealed that Quek, along with many of her fellow Team GB members, had been granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for various medical prescriptions. Her TUE specifically related to the use of an inhaler in 2008, when she was a teenager. She 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 these hacks could stigmatise the future use of TUEs to the detriment of future athletes, describing TUEs as "potentially life-saving practices". The hacks have since been widely discredited by numerous industry professionals and worldwide media outlets.
Potential football career
Quek was signed to Tranmere Rovers F.C. as a junior. She revealed in an interview with The Guardian that she had to make the choice at the age of 16 between pursuing a professional career in hockey or football, as splitting her time between the two sports was hindering her progress in both. She elected to pursue a career in hockey. On 23 March 2018, Quek was selected to play in an All-Stars team versus FA People's Cup challengers in a 12-hour fundraising match for Sport Relief. She was offered a trial with the Liverpool LadiesFA Women's Super League team by their manager Vicky Jepson, but had not taken the offer up as at April 2020.
In July 2021, it was confirmed that Quek would become a team captain on the long-running show A Question of Sport. Her appointment was part of a change to the programme's line-up that saw Paddy McGuinness take over as host and Quek become the show's first permanent female captain alongside former rugby union player Ugo Monye.