VIMBAI CHITUKU & ITUMELENG SEMOLI
Dedication was evident in the SMS hockey teams’ pre-season preparation for 2022.
After a standstill caused by the Corona virus, the players were back and ready for action. The annual First-Team sleepover was the last of many arranged by former coach, Mr Braam van Wyk. The sleepover was fruitful as the ladies had the time to grow as a team and as individuals.
After almost two years without any league or tournament exposure, the First Team had the opportunity to display the results of many hours of hard work at the Greg Bieling tournament that was held in East London.
Games were played at various schools: Selborne College, Clarendon Girls’ High, Cambridge High and Stirling High. The girls showed their skills on the field and had a few good games; however, the results were merely satisfactory. They were totally unaware of the fact that this would be their last tournament with Mr Van Wyk.
Even though the First Team has not had the best of seasons, their captain, Kaylen Simmons says, ‘The Team performed well. If more SMS girls play hockey, our hockey will have more depth and our results will improve. I appeal to the younger girls to get active and join us on the hockey fields.’
Ms Jo-Nelke Swanepoel has since taken the role of the First-Team coach. When asked whether taking over from Mr Van Wyk was daunting, she answered ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. ‘No’, because she herself had been coached by him and she understands his coaching tactics. She has already been involved with the First Team for many years. However, ‘Yes’, because the responsibility to take the first team to the next level now rests on her shoulders – a job that requires considerable patience and perseverance.