Leaving her legacy

2013-09-10 00:00

CLAIRE Gibbings is not fazed by the example set by older sisters Kirsty and Amy, who both represented South Africa on the hockey field.

Like her siblings, Claire has reached similar heights on the hockey field, leaving a sporting legacy at St Mary’s that will be hard to match.

Kirsty represented South Africa at the 2010 London Olympic Games while in Grade 10 and the SA U17 team, while Amy has represented the SA U17 team, playing with Amy.

Not to be outdone, Claire has made inroads of her own, playing in the U14A and U16A teams before heading into the St Mary’s first team last year.

“It’s quite unusual for all of us to be good at hockey and it must be in our genes,” said Claire. “We made it our first-choice sport and have been talented enough to make progress beyond school level.”

Claire has been chosen for the SA U17 team to play five-a-side matches at the Youth Olympics in China in August next year. While she appreciates the accolade, she knows it’s no walk in the park.

“That’s the easy part,” she said. “There are 30 of us who have been selected and after attending numerous training camps, it’s whittled down to only 10 players, and they are the ones on the plane next year. There is still plenty of work to be done.”

Although adept at indoor and outdoor hockey, Claire prefers the outdoor game as it gives her more space to run and attack the ball. She’s quite a relaxed customer and has no hesitation in saying where hockey comes in her current lifestyle.

“Dare I say it, hockey does take first place. I’m a steady pupil and get by without being at the top of the class as such,” she said. “I enjoy playing hockey to my full potential and it’s proving successful for me.”

NAME: Claire Gibbings

SCHOOL: St Mary’s DSG

GRADE: 11

AGE: 16

SPORT: Hockey

GIBBINGS FACTS AND LIFESTYLE

• Plays club hockey for Kearsney Hockey Club.

• Likes cooking and baking.

• Enjoys spending “girl time” with friends outdoors, especially at the beach.

• Romantic and light-hearted movies are favourites.

• Attempts to play the guitar, which she has had since Grade 7.

• Doesn’t read much. Too busy with hockey and academic commitments.

• When it comes to food, any seafood is a hands-down choice.

• Played hockey in China (Beijing) last year on a school tour, joining her sister Kirsty in the team.

• Enjoys sport more than cultural activities.

•Geography and maths are favourite subjects.

• Has no specific sport heroes and prefers to leave her own legacy.

Honours: Colours for Hockey, SA U17 squad, SA U16 team (2012), KZN U18 Indoor and Outdoor Hockey Team, KZN U16 Cross Country, Padssa Soccer.

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