CARLO COCK

Hockey has conventionally not been one of the most glamourous sports under the TuksSport umbrella. However, due to an excellent coaching set-up and recruitment strategy, TuksHockey is emerging from under the shadows of more well-known sports at Tuks such as rugby, football and athletics.

The TuksHockey club is one of the most active and successful TuksSport clubs at national and international level. Five players from the club’s men’s first team are in the South African national team and two female players are in the Investec SA Women’s team. TuksHockey also boasts a prestigious coaching team that includes former USSA Championship-winning coaches, David Viney and Craig Fulton as well as the renowned Natalie Fulton. All three of them have been involved with the South African national teams as either players or members of the technical staff.

Due to its impressive record in student competition (winning the 2011 USSA Championships in Pietermartizburg) and the impressive array of coaches at the club, recruiting the cream of the country’s young talent is also not a problem. TuksHockey currently has eight men and three women in the national under-21 sides that will compete in qualification for next year’s Junior World Championships.

One of the most exciting aspects of TuksHockey is its highly successful and ever-expanding Res League. Last year, 38 teams competed in the TuksHockey Res League, making it the biggest res league in TuksSport in terms of the number of participants. TuksHockey has some exciting new plans and developments in store for 2012 to improve the Res League tournament, such as the development of two new fields right next to the club house in order to centralise the league. An additional AstroTurf is also a possibility management is looking into. They also hope to refurbish the main playing area by replacing the current green AstroTurf with a more modern, blue version. Blue AstroTurf is the latest of several new innovations in the sport, as it makes the ball more visible and will be used at the Olympics in London later this year.

Speaking of the Olympics, the Investec SA Women’s team, powered by Tuks stars, Dirkie Chamberlain and Nicolene Terblanche, booked their place at the Games with a win at the Olympic Qualifier Tournament at New Delhi’s National Stadium last weekend. Chamberlain scored two hat-tricks in the competition and finished as the second top-scorer. Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Chamberlain and Terblanche in the next edition of Perdeby.

TuksHockey is a hub of world-class talent as well as a club where all students can enjoy taking part in one of the senior teams, Res League or even just as a fan, so make sure you get down to the club house to check it out for yourself.

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