Paton wades into his hockey career

2013-09-05 00:00

WADE Paton (27) has been playing hockey for most of his life, despite the sport being a poor relative to cricket, rugby and soccer in South Africa.

Having started at Glenashley Senior Primary School, Paton played the game throughout his high school years at Northwood, including a post-matric year at Maritzburg College.

“My highlight was being selected for the SA Schools side that played against Australia in Pietermaritzburg,” said Paton. “I always enjoyed hockey and it was exciting to start on grass and move through to astro. Currently playing at Riverside in Durban North has enhanced my career and added a new dimension to my game.”

Paton has been with the Super League champions for the past two years, great years that have seen the men’s first team win back-to-back titles.

“This is a definite highlight for me, being unbeaten indoor and outdoor league champions for two successive years,” said Paton. “Winning the Riverside Hockey Elite Club Challenge — where the top club sides from each province played — was another highlight, confirming our status as perhaps the country’s top club side.”

Since 2007, Paton has been a member of the South African side and believes the team could be a world powerhouse if proper funding were received.

“Hockey is seen as one of the smaller sports in South Africa and while we compete with the world’s best, there is never much confidence from people that we will do well,” he said.

“It’s a pity as we have a wealth of talented players coming through school and club levels. If we could have the financial support the bigger sports enjoy, it would bolster the game and be a sport worth pursuing at professional level.”

Paton can voice his thoughts, having played in Belgium for three seasons at Gantosie Hockey Club. “The game is definitely different overseas. It is professionally run and allows players to make a living from it.

“The European structures are much more defence oriented, giving teams a great base from which to launch their attacking options.”

With this in mind, Paton offers sound advice to players wishing to take their game further, to national level and more. “Yes, there is not much on offer in South Africa as a hockey player, but there are opportunities in Europe. The key is to remain positive, work hard at your game and try to get a contract at an overseas club,” he said.

“That is the way to go and playing overseas is a great proving ground, making players tougher and more skilful. National selection is still possible, and I am a firm advocate that overseas experience can only improve your game.”

Paton Lifestyle

• Music — Indie, anything alternative

• Food — Sushi

• Movies — Thrillers

• Reading — As often as possible. Currently reading Fearless by Eric Blehm.

• Other sport — Enjoys trail running and started paddling. Enjoys a challenge.

• Drink — Prefers beer, especially what’s offered in Europe. Wine demands an occasion.

• Doesn’t play any musical instrument and not a great singer.

• Has just started yoga, which is helping with mobility and agility.

• No specific role model but admires people who sacrifice all to achieve greatness.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.