Former Carter pupil makes PMB proud

2017-03-29 06:03
PHOTO: suppliedFormer Carter High pupil, Phumelela Mbande, obtained her Senior National Hockey Caps recently.

PHOTO: suppliedFormer Carter High pupil, Phumelela Mbande, obtained her Senior National Hockey Caps recently.

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FORMER Carter High pupil, Phumelela Mbande, obtained Senior National Hockey­ Caps recently.

Mbande started playing hockey at Lynford Primary School in Grade 5 when she volunteered as goalkeeper thinking it was the safest position.

She played hockey throughout her schooling at Carter High School, played for Pietermaritzburg based Collegians Hockey Club, represented KwaZulu-Natal and later Northern Gauteng, and is currently at the University of Pretoria coaching and has been playing for the past seven years.

She believes her unique strength on the hockey field lies in her shot-stopping, reflex action, strong willed personality and determination.

The eldest of three children, raised by a single mother, Mbande learnt tenacity in various areas of her life.

“It is an honour and a privilege to represent my country at the highest level, and hockey presented a huge opportunity to secure my future and fulfil life-long dreams, so I always strived to be the best,” said Mbande.

Having solid support structures in her life (family and hockey communities) have been key factors to her success. Mbande said that Carter High hockey coach in 2009, Marie Johnson, always challenged her to be better and opened many doors to success for her.

“Mrs Johnson always put in the extra effort, from organising private technical training with goalkeeper coaches, to driving me from school sports commitments to club training sessions and sometimes feeding me in between.

“I am so grateful for the mentorship I got from her, both on and off the field, and would love one day do the same for another young person looking to dream far beyond the limits and bounds of their reality.

“Through hockey I have built my best friendships, have learnt what it means to exist and thrive in a team environment, had the opportunity to travel abroad and have even achieved academic success through funding provided by hockey,” she said.

Mbande’s hockey journey has been filled with highs and lows and many lessons learnt. Not making the Glasgow Common Wealth Games team in 2014 was a disappointment, but a lesson to continue striving for perfection.

One of her most memorable moments was taking part in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. It was her first big tournament, first overseas trip and first opportunity to compete against world-class teams and top international athletes.

“I strive on with the future goal of making the 2018 Commonwealth Team and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”

Mbande recently completed her Bachelor of Commerce Honours in accounting sciences at the University of Pretoria and is currently serving her three-year articles at PWC in Pretoria. - Supplied.

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