Coach wants to give back

2019-07-10 06:01
Braam van Wyk, hockey coach. Photo: Supplied

Braam van Wyk, hockey coach. Photo: Supplied

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Braam van Wyk, hockey high performance manager at the University of the Free State (UFS), aspires to impart back into the sport knowledge gained at international level.

He has been appointed as assistant coach of the Ghana men’s hockey team.

Van Wyk says his appointment was part-time because the team does not play many matches in a year. Ghana is ranked 35th in the world.

Van Wyk will assist the team in the run-up to the Africa Cup in August, where they hope to perform well enough to get an opportunity to play in the Road to Tokyo qualifier for next year’s Olympic Games.

He is currently already sharpening the Ghana players who are based in South Africa.

“I see this as an opportunity to develop the players, but also for me as a coach to grow and to coach at international level. I am excited to try and add value. The plan is to implement it here at the UFS,” said Van Wyk said.

Van Wyk has vast experience in hockey coaching. He has also been the head coach of the UFS men’s team since 2016, as well as the astro manager.

According to Van Wyk (32), who studied environmental management, he already started coaching in his first year of studies while he was still playing. He represented the UFS from 2006 to 2009.

Van Wyk’s knowledge in his chosen sport is not limited to coaching. It includes officiating as an umpire. “Between 2010 and 2015, my focus shifted to umpiring and I officiated in 19 internationals of which five involved the Protea men’s team,” says Van Wyk.

The latest development in coaching sees him follow in the footsteps of his father, Braam sr.

Braam Sr is an astute coach who stood at the helm of many teams over the years, including the Kovsie men and women. He also coached his son while he was playing for the UFS.

“While I was playing, I used to ask him a lot of questions. I learned so much from him and still approaches him for advice. He has so much experience and has achieved so much,” says Van Wyk.

He believes standard of hockey in SA is improving.

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