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Back You are here: Home Sports Hockey Western Cape Hockey: Profile on The Meteoric Rise of Paarl Gim's Anke Swart
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 10:54

Hockey: Profile on The Meteoric Rise of Paarl Gim's Anke Swart

Written by  Jaco Zeeman

A name that will definitely be synonymous with success in the future is that of Anke Swart. Not only is this 16 year old girl at the forefront of talented young and upcoming hockey players, she is in fact on her way to conquer space! Anke’s astronomical achievement demands this feature article. She is a true all-rounder in every sense of the word and her recent selection to the “Mission to Mars” program serves as evidence of her tenacity in all spheres of life.


After a long and laborious application, interview and selection process, Anke was unanimously selected as one of two students to fly over to Houston, USA, on an all-expenses paid academic excursion. Anke will receive training from NASA experts in the field of Astrological Science. This stimulating subject will see her absorb valuable information in NASA’s “Mission to Mars” program which includes information about astronauts and its related science. Anke says, “I am really excited and looking forward to 19 July, it is a field in which I have always been very interested in”. Anke will return to South Africa on 5 August to feed her hockey hunger.

The sporting achievements by the humble, hockey heroine are almost as extensive as a monthly, grocery shopping list. You simply have to name the sporting code and chances are that she has represented a provincial side somewhere along the line in that particular sport. Anke played Netball for the South African U12 and U13 side in 2007 and 2008, respectively. At U13 age group, Anke was a member of the Western Cape Athletics team and was also selected for the Boland team in 2009. She not only excels in team sport, Anke represented Western Province Karate at a prestigious, international tournament testifying to the fact that she is able to shine bright, even if she is the sole centre of attention. She is, however, most well-known for her achievements on the Hockey field, having represented Boland at all the various age group levels. It is very clear that Anke is no one trick pony. Anke cracked the nut with a National call up in 2011 where she was selected for the South African U16 girls’ hockey team.

Anke was born and raised in the affluent suburb of Durbanville; a place she says she will always regard as home. She completed her junior school years at Mikro Primary in Kuilsriver, a popular choice for children living in that area, and then chose Paarl Gymnasium High School for their excellent track record in both academics and girls’ hockey.

Upon her arrival at Gimmies in 2009, Anke’s focus shifted exclusively to her hockey. She represented the schools’ U14A side and soon thereafter shook off her age group status and got the nod in 2010 to represent her school’s first team. This phenomenal feat will see the brilliant blonde play four years of 1st team hockey. Although Anke’s top priority is her hockey, she says: “I enjoy taking part in athletics to maintain my fitness”. Unable to focus too much on athletics, her duties as a Gimmie has often seen the multi-talented sportswoman represent her school and excel at various important Athletics meetings.

Anke is an extremely talented hockey player. Her ability to be assertive on defence, whilst not being overly aggressive, is definitely one of her strongest assets. Couple this with steely determination and an innate ability to read the game and you have a world class player in the making. As if this is not enough, Anke’s versatility to be able to play in the backline whilst also being able to move forward as link, is a quality any coach would love to have in their ranks.

Anke’s coach at Paarl Gym, Louise Conradie says: “Anke is a popular, well mannered and well behaved girl. She is academically very strong and shows huge talent in hockey. She is a key player in our team and last year obtained SA U16 colours in hockey after the U16 IPT hockey tournament in Bloemfontein. She is a dedicated player who never gives up and is very loyal towards her team and her coach. It's a great pleasure and honour to coach Anke at school and at provincial level”.

Off the sports field, Anke enjoys spending time with friends and family – a component of her life she emphasises as being very important. Anke admits to being crazy about art and says: “I do not mind being judged as the “Arty Farty” type, as I really enjoy being creative”. Furthermore, she enjoys the outdoor and highlights camping as a favourite activity. On the cultural front, she ignites with passion and proudly belts out her love of public speaking and debate, whilst academically she boasts an exceptional record – being placed in the top ten of her grade every year. She shyly confesses to coming first in grades 8 and 9, and hopes to stay in the top 10 at Gym until she finishes matric. Anke is clearly a very humble child, as her reddened cheeks testified. Remarkable achievements on the sports fields clearly come much easier to this talented girl than boasting about her academic prowess. Anke can be described as passionate and exuberant, as well as extremely dedicated, whilst not completely obsessed. She is the type of person that will put her mind to something and have the determination to follow through.

While not focusing too far ahead, Anke has a clear view of her future. However, in saying this, she is objectively open to the boundless possibilities that the future could hold. Anke’s short- term goal is to obtain selection into the SA U18 hockey team, a goal that is indicative of her aspiration and talent, respectively. Louise Conradie says: “If Anke continues to play hockey seriously, she should be able to reach great heights at senior level. She always strives to be the best in everything she does and therefore she is able to make a success of everything she sets her mind to”. Anke looks at former Gimmie and current South African hockey player, Izel Lategan as her role-model and will try hard to follow in her footsteps. Anke is also keen to continue her tertiary education straight after school and has already looked at courses such as Chemical Engineering and Medicine as potential fields of study.

The achievement of talented sportswomen often takes a back seat in the media, however, in the case of Anke Swart, headline grabbing was mandatory and her astronomical rise as hockey whizz-kid is but a promise of good things to come. We wish Anke all the best with her future endeavour as her already stellar reputation grows and her exciting journey continues.

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