Three Varsity College students are excited about being selected for the U21 South African hockey team competing in the 2014 Junior World Cup in India. Despite the exhilaration of being chosen, there are some nerves as well as they train and prepare to compete in India, a country that none of them have been to before.
The entire team has been chosen from different provinces and teams, so these KZN boys have never played with the entire team that has been selected and will only play together 4 days before the World Cup championships, for the first time.
A few nerves, however, is not going to stop these three, full of excitement and determination to represent their country to the best of their ability.
So, who are they? (left to right)
Studying: Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice (The IIE)
Position: Goal Keeper
Nickname: Rich Babe
Richard was bowled over when he was part of the team that beat Egypt 4 – 2 at AFCON, the qualifying game for the World Cup. He is excited about the achievement and about being able to represent South Africa at this level. He got competitive in his hockey practice when he was made goalie at school for the first time, a position he loves as it is more of an individual position, all about ‘awareness and communication’. He feels privileged to be following his dreams in a sport he is totally passionate about.
Position: Centre Forward
Studying: Bachelor of Laws LLB (University of the Free State)
Nickname: Wee Man
Andrew started playing hockey when, as a young boy, there was a competition and children had to put their names in a hat to win a prize, and that prize happened to be a hockey stick, which Andrew won! Andrew loves the team aspects of the game and the fact that it is very competitive. Andrew is the only one of the three who has been overseas to play hockey before, in Scotland.
Position: Midfielder / Defender
Studying: BCom (The IIE)
Nickname: Cuddle Squad
Dan was more of a tennis player at primary and high school, until he ‘saw the light’ and got serious about hockey midway through Grade 10. He prefers the team aspect of the sport to the individual nature of tennis. For him, the encouragement and comeraderie of the team is what keeps him highly motivated.
He chatted a bit about the prospect of playing in Delhi, where they will be competing against 16 other teams, from all over the world, including Europe, Australia, England, New Zealand and Pakistan. The only two African teams that made the grade were South Africa and Egypt.
We wish the boys well, and you can catch their progress on the Varsity College Facebook page in 2014!