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Back You are here: Home Sports Hockey Western Cape Bishops Hockey 2011: "Even Better Than 2010"
Monday, 16 May 2011 10:41

Bishops Hockey 2011: "Even Better Than 2010"

Widely regarded as one of the finest educational institutions in the land, if not the continent, Diocesan College, known more familiarly as Bishops, has been at the pinnacle both academically and sportingly.

Bishops_hockeyBoasting an endless length of sports stars in various disciplines, most famously on the rugby field, as well as a plethora of Old Diocesans who have made their mark in the world in some way or another, it is clear that every Bishops boy leaves the school with the tools necessary to achieve greatness. It is for precisely this reason that the school is referred to as “The Eton of South Africa.”

This time around though we turn our attentions to that “other Winter Sport.” Long overlooked and the object of constant friendly jibes and banter at South Africa’s top sporting schools is of course the sport of Hockey.

The sport constantly subjected to the sledging of the burly rugby boys. Me being one of them, I was never short of a quick quip to one of my hockey-playing friends; that is until I was convinced to pick up a hockey stick myself and consequently made a complete fool of myself. I realised hockey took a hell of a lot more talent than I had thought and so I found a new respect for the sport.

Ironically however almost all of the boys forming the core leadership group of Bishops’ all conquering 1st Hockey XI started their school sporting careers as rugby players. Today however we discuss the fortunes of 2010 and the plans for 2011 on the hockey pitch with Michael Watson, Jacques Tredoux, Seb Golding and Charlie Plimsoll as well as their coach Mr. Warren Wallace; members of the Bishops 1st XI who lost only two games in 2010.


Michael Watson

For Matric student Michael Watson, hockey seems to be more of a pastime than a calling as he focuses his attentions on getting into Law School. However this does hide the fact that he has represented South Africa at age group level since U16. It was however a stroke of luck that saw him swap his mud stained rugby boots for a hockey stick.

“I played a lot of rugby in the prep school until one of the hockey coaches came up to me and said I had a good physique for hockey. So I decided to make the switch from rugby to hockey and I can safely say I don’t regret it.”

Reflecting on his achievements at National level, Michael is quite level-headed about it all, praising the structure of South Africa’s hockey age-group rep teams.

“It’s obviously quite an honour to represent South Africa. The setup is fantastic but there’s a bit more pressure at National level. Everybody wants the same thing so you find that everyone plays much harder to get it, it’s only natural. What has really helped though is the fact that we have had the same National coach from U16, and he will carry us through to U21 level.”

While Michael is passionate about hockey, he does feel that correct prioritisation of his life is essential and he hopes to first complete a degree in Law before proceeding with his hockey.

“I think it’s important to have that as a back up. I can’t focus all my attention on hockey because it’s not a professional sport in this country. Once I have qualified, then I will look at the possibility of playing hockey overseas. With my law degree under the belt, it will also open a lot more doors to me in terms of moving overseas.”


Jacques Tredoux

Sport mad Jacques Tredoux tried every sport under the sun at Prep School. It was not until inspirational coach Murray Anderson, well, inspired him to take up a hockey stick that he shifted his focus 100% to the hockey field.

“Murray was a huge influence in me taking up hockey. I played a variety of sport at prep school but was lucky enough to have him as a coach and he definitely influenced my decision positively.”

Unlike the others, Jacques’ first love is Indoor hockey.

“Indoor hockey is fantastic for me because you can play it anytime of the year. It’s completely different to field hockey. It’s a lot faster which suits me fine.”

For Jacques, he is hoping that hockey will still be a big part of his future.

“I’m hoping to go on a Gap Year to the Dragon School in Oxford and play some club hockey in the UK. The level of club hockey over there is extremely high and I’m excited to head over there. Afterwards I’d like to study a BCom at Stellenbosch University and play hockey for Maties.”

Seb Golding

Seb Golding is the complete all-rounder, 1st XI cricket captain as well as an integral part of the Bishops Hockey 1st XI. Add to that the fact that he has been not only a part of Bishops Hockey team, but a Bishops hockey team that played 18 games, Winning 16 and Losing only 2 in 2010.

“We had an outstanding season in 2010, losing only two games to our biggest rivals, Wynberg and Rondebosch. We’re really looking to go even better this year.”

This level of success has demanded even more out of the boys, with the boys required to train during early summer mornings for the hockey season ahead. For boys like Seb, this type of dedication is just not possible given his cricketing commitments.

“If I had the choice to choose a sport, I’d choose cricket. That’s not saying I don’t like hockey of course I do, but I do feel that I’m better at cricket than I am at hockey.

Being a better cricketer is a relative term as Seb has represented Western Province in hockey throughout High School. The fact that he feels that he is a better cricketer than hockey player is an indication of his cricketing prowess.

“It requires a different type of skill. Both need good hand-eye co-ordination but that’s about where it ends. I’ll have to see which sport I go further in and that will influence my decision as to what I focus on.”

Charlie Plimsoll

Another of the all-rounders, Charlie Plimsoll played rugby, cricket and hockey in his younger days. Currently a member of the 1st XI cricket side as well as the 1st XI hockey side.

For Charlie, hockey however is in his blood.

“My older brother played hockey at a high level as well. That’s probably what influenced me the most, being surrounded by a hockey atmosphere from a young age.”

This didn’t stop him from trying his hand at a variety of sports that have in some way or another contributed positively to his natural athletic prowess and his ability to perform outstandingly in both hockey and cricket. But unlike Seb, he feels his true calling is hockey.

“I think it was a wise choice to choose to play hockey. I’ve been privileged to go very far in the sport. I made the WP U16 and U18 sides and I’m working very hard to make the SA side this year.”

For the future, Charlie will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his mate Jacques, on a Gap Year to the Dragon School in the UK, with more than a bit of UK club hockey thrown in the mix.


Goals for 2011

Following their outstanding 2010 season, it would seem quite hard for the Class of 2011 to aspire to be even better, but this is exactly what Mr. Warren Wallace and his charges have challenged themselves with.

“Our objective is to win most games, but we can only do that if everyone plays a fair role,” says Wallace, himself assistant coach of the SA Men’s Hockey side at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

“Our common goal is to improve on last season, however balance is key.”

As the boys put it, they’re planning to “Outrun, Outthink and Outplay” their opposition in 2011.

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