Injury forces her to play her Penny forward

2014-09-09 00:00

THE downside of sport is the number of injuries and other setbacks befalling players.

An international player no stranger to disappointment is recent Investec South Africa women’s hockey team striker Lauren Penny, whose big-time career was tragically cut short by a crippling injury.

“I have been out of international hockey for a while, recovering from a shoulder operation which can take up to 18 months,” said Penny, who scored on debut for South Africa and was on the brink of selection for the South African national women’s team to take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games when ill-fortune struck.

It was this adversity that propelled Penny, a highly-qualified sports trainer with more than a decade’s experience in helping hockey players become stronger, faster, more explosive and agile, to put something back into helping others, by establishing her new hockey mentorship programme.

Penny has found players of all levels from around the world keen to work with her.

“I have created a personal, step-by-step 12-week course that identifies any mental or physical barriers which are currently preventing hockey players of all ages from reaching their goal, whether it’s to make the school first team or a provincial and national side. Most importantly, the programme shows you how to beat those barriers permanently,” Penny told The Witness yesterday.

“I have been getting some great results from those I work with, with my main focus on improving their mental and physical toughness, and the biggest changes have been in players’ newfound confidence and belief in themselves.”

Cape Town-born Penny, who played for Western Province at age-group level before spending most of her post-school years working in the fitness industry in London and playing in England, has moved back to Cape Town intent on helping the next generation of players here.

Go to hockeyperformance­ to find out how Penny can help players to discover what is holding them back from reaching their full potential.

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