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Locals shine for SA at Hockey Masters World Cup

IT was a moment to savour for four Durban residents who recently represented the South African women’s hockey team at the World Masters Hockey World Cup (50-55), held in Cape Town.

Robyn Wiggett (uMdloti), Wendy Horn (Durban North), Sharon Vernon (Morningside) and Kerry Ras (Hillcrest) were the only players from Durban selected for the national team at the event.

The South African team finished in fifth and beat Chile, Ireland and the Alliance Masters Team.

The tournament featured several teams (both men’s and women’s) from 20 countries around the world.

Wendy Horn, who captained the team at the tournament, praised her teammates for their commitment and attitude throughout the competition.

“The team gelled from day one, and as the tournament went on, we just got better and better. The spirit and camaraderie amongst the team was pretty special to witness, as well. We won three of our six matches, and we had several standout performances. None more so than our win against Ireland. We lost to them in the group stages by a goal to nil, and then we were able to turn it around in the fifth-place playoff, beating them 3-0, which shows how far we’d come in the tournament. This was my second World Cup in the Masters division, and what made it that much sweeter was playing in front of our home crowd. The home support really geed us up,” Horn enthused.

uMdloti resident and vice-captain of the team, Robyn Wiggett, praised coach Jonty Robinson on his handling of the team throughout the tournament.

“He was phenomenal. He brought such a professional link to our team. We had video analysis, and personally I learned so much about my game at the age of 54. He also gave all of the ladies on the squad a chance to play and represent their country. We had 18 players in the squad; every single player in the team got a chance. I think that also lent towards why, as a team, we gelled so well. Every lady on the team gave it their all throughout the tournament,” she said.