Just like other first-year university students, professional hockey player Jonathan Robinson had to learn to deal with the freedom university life offered. Caught up in his new-found independence, Robinson said his dream of turning professional was nearly crushed.

As a Tuks undergraduate, Robinson had to learn how to handle the freedom during his first year. “I don’t think I handled my first year too well. I got caught up in the freedom of not being at home,” he said. Robinson credited the TuksHockey coaching staff and older players for helping him to focus. “I became friends with some of the older guys in the Tuks Hockey Club, who have been around the block, and they showed me the ropes and I started getting everything in order.”

Born in Bartonville, Cape Town, Robinson started playing hockey at the age of six. “I have always been around hockey,” he said. Robinson is currently based in Belgium, where he plays for Braxgata Hockey Club. The midfielder told Perdeby that the opportunity to play overseas is the best thing that has happened to him. He said, “I keep thinking it’s not often that you get an opportunity to be a professional sportsman and to play abroad.” Robinson has already achieved two of his career goals, playing for the South African national side and representing the country at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Robinson was instrumental in South Africa’s 2-2 draw against Britain during the Olympics. Keeping fans on the edge of their seats, he beat three defenders to score the goal which briefly put South Africa in the lead.

Because of his busy schedule, the 26-year-old still has to finish eight modules before he can graduate from Tuks.

Robinson hopes to see first-year students balance their studies and activities. “First years should make sure that they find balance between their social life, their studies, and their sport. If there is something that means everything to you, it should be worth any sacrifice,” he said.


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