Hockey team shoots to win

There is something extraordinary about the girls playing in the hockey first team at Groote Schuur High School, says the school’s head of sport.

“At Groote Schuur we are not spoilt for choice, we don’t have a big pool of naturally talented hockey-playing girls. Our girls are ordinary. But this year, with this group, we have managed to click in an extraordinary way,” says Moegamat “MG” Gallant.

He says the girls have shown courage and heart during a tough season, making the school proud.

Gallant says the girls found themselves on the receiving end of a few demotivating defeats and things looked rather bleak at the end of their pre-season tour to Mossel Bay.

“We had appointed a new coach and head of hockey merely days prior to the team’s departure for the tour and it seemed as though we were in for a bumpy ride of a season as we stared down the barrel of a season ahead,” Gallant explains.

But, he says, it would all serve as motivation for young coach Kaitlin Hunt, the daughter of locally renowned soccer coach Gavin Hunt. She is currently enrolled as a Sports Science student at the University of Cape Town and has expressed admiration for the manner in which Groote Schuur High has promoted sport. “There’s a real culture of sport growing among the learners. I was happy to take on my first ever role as head coach when the opportunity presented itself but I also knew that it would be really hard work,” says Hunt.

According to Gallant, the school’s head of hockey, Lauren Chamberlin, believed in the team from the word go and this has added to its achievements.

“It’s been an amazing journey thus far for our girls,” says Gallant.

Despite the early jitters, the team’s record this year has been positive, with victories against a number of schools including Parow, Melkbos, JG Meiring, Meridian Pinehurst and Eben Donges.

The team also played in friendly games, drawing against Bergvliet, losing to Westerford and securing a victory against Bedford.

“Pivotal to our success this year for me has been the girls’ willingness and their commitment,” Gallant says. They are a real life inspiration to all the teams at the school, he adds.

The team will this week head into league play-offs and Gallant says winning first place would be a “big bonus” and make the school community proud.

On Saturday 25 August the school will play in their annual sports derby against Camps Bay, at the latter’s home grounds.

Members of the community are invited to support the event, which will be filled with sports action in multiple winter codes, with all age groups participating.