Strandfontein hockey player Quanita Bobbs is among the Capetonians who have been selected for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, in July.
More than nine men and women in the SA teams come from Western Province Hockey Union leagues.
WPCC and Stellenbosch University’s Tarryn Lombard (Glasby), 26, was a part of the team that participated at the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup in England. She is confident in assisting the team into yet another victory at the Tokyo Olympics.
18-year-old Colorado Park born Mustapha Cassiem will make his national debut alongside his older brother and senior national team player, Dayaan, from Central Hockey Club’s development, in the Olympics.
Central players, Keenan Horne, Ryan Julius and Erasmus “Rassie” Pieterse will be a part of the men’s first and travelling reserve team.
WPCC player and former SA junior and senior player, Ashlin Freddy has been selected as the assistant coach for the national men’s team.
Dutch club HC Den Bosch and the SA men’s team captain, Austin Smith, from Pinelands, will once again lead the stallions into victory at the Olympics.
Former Central and current WPCC women’s first team player, Quanita Bobbs, 27, will make her 139th cap in her next match.
Bobbs played hockey for the first time at the age of 10, in Grade 3, at St George’s Grammar School, in Mowbray. She was a part of the Central Hockey Club junior sides.
Bobbs said every weekend she would sit and watch the top Western Province League hockey teams play against each other around Cape Town. This is where her passion for the sport grew, watching the seniors play and getting to play with her friends.
“Thank you, making the Olympic team has been a lifelong dream and goal of mine. My family has always supported me along this journey, and I think it means as much for them as it does for me. Everyone who has been involved in my hockey career over the years, has a part to play in my selection. I am very grateful for all the support I have,” she said.
In primary school Bobbs played hockey, softball and did ballet. And, when she joined Wynberg Girls’ High School and Stellenbosch University, she shifted her focus entirely to hockey.
Outside of the sport, Bobbs has a keen interest in digital marketing, she also has a business with her partner called Mercurial Fit which keeps her busy leading up to the Games.
“Write your goals down, and actively work to achieve them. Never give up, the journey will have many ups and downs, but never let obstacles stop you in the pursuit of your dreams,” said Bobbs.
WPCC Women’s first team coach, Brinsley Powell said Lombard (Glasby) and Bobbs have been grafting extensively for many years, their time and energy in the sport is shown in the selection of the Olympics team.
“It has been amazing to watch both from a young age, roughly when both were around 15-16 years, when I was just getting into coaching, and then to watch them push on through the age groups and sections to where they are now at 26 and 28 respectively,” he said.
“Both were stars for their schools and then made the move to Stellenbosch University, where they flourished under Jenny King’s programme. I remember coaching against both and fearing, and it is certainly a relief to have them with us rather than against.
“Both have also given themselves the best chance to see different things too, and both have played overseas in a few countries such as England, Belgium and Spain. I am sure they would love to play in the Netherlands too as we always speak about the Dutch league,” he said.
Powell said Lombard and Bobbs keep people’s dreams alive.
“As a club, it is great for WPCC as we can feel confident that we are giving great services to any member, so that they can achieve. Naturally these two will also grow as hockey players and people, and I think it is going to be great to see what they bring back and share with us. I wish both the best of luck, and I have no doubt that they will make the most of it,” said Powell.
President at Central Hockey Club, Jeffrey Cloete said they have over six players who came through the development system or are a part of the senior men and women’s team that will participate in the Olympic Games.
Cloete owed his respect to a number of the support system at the club, in the community and at City level. He mentioned, everyone at the club, including former Olympian and SA national men’s team player and now head coach at Central Hockey Club, Bruce Jacobs, played a good role in preparing the players.
“It has been 25 years in the making. They have paved the way for others as role models. It’s good that we get our name out there to the country and the world. I hope we can carry on with this work for many years to come,” he said.
Cloete said SA women’s hockey centurion, Bobbs, came through the development system at Central, studied and played at Stellenbosch University, went back to Central to plough back and then joined WPCC.
“She joined as a junior many years ago. We have a very good development system where the players learn about the basic skills and interpersonal skills to make them well rounded individuals. She has done pretty well for herself,” he said.
Cloete said last week they had a club meeting; they are preparing a virtual awards ceremony for the Olympians.
“Playing at the Olympics level is the highest honour you can achieve. I’m sure they will make their parents, club and communities proud.”