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Glen Hills hockey player nets World Cup dream

Tatum Kroutz is hoping to shine for the National U21 Team at the Junior Women’s World Cup starting this month.

GLEN Hills resident Tatum Kroutz is ready to give it her all for the South African U21 Team at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Junior Women’s World Cup starting this month.

Tatum is the only KwaZulu-Natal representative in the 18-player squad for the tournament taking place in Santiago in Chile.

The young South African team, which is ranked eighth in the FIH junior rankings, will take on the defending champions, the Netherlands, and the hosts and old rivals, Australia, in Pool B.

The former Danville Park Girls’ High School learner said she is relishing the opportunity to represent her country.

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“The Junior World Cup has been a dream of mine, and I’m happy I get to tick it off my bucket list. This is my first time representing South Africa in a massive tournament like this one. I have represented the country before in the recent inter-provincial tournament held in Durban, however, this is the first major tournament to play for my country.

“This is definitely one of the proudest hockey moments for me as it’s something I’ve been working towards for a very long time, having been through lots of ups and downs. With God’s timing and being consistent, determined and never giving up – and holding myself accountable – I’ve been able to make this goal of mine a reality. It’s a privilege to represent SA in a World Cup as not many people get to say that they’ve represented their country before on such a huge stage. I’m extremely grateful and honoured to be a part of it, and hopefully, will make history,” she explained.

The Varsity College Hockey Club member said the team is under no illusion of the task that faces them in Chile.

“As a whole, the team’s goal for this tournament is not to just get a participation medal but to compete against massive countries like the Netherlands. We want to make history for SA hockey. For me, as an individual, my goal is to play the best hockey I can possibly play, make memories, give 100% to each match and make my family, province and country proud.

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“Our U21 team is made up of a hugely talented bunch of players. There are many young, diverse and experienced players, eager and passionate about this sport, which makes playing even better and more rewarding. The coaching and management staff are amazing at what they do, and we are a very lucky team that gets to have staff as amazing as we do,” she said.

Speaking on her support base, Tatum praised the community around her, including her family and twin sister.

“I would say I’m blessed to have a big community of supporters – from my club that I play for, my province, friends and family – they have all been so supportive and encouraging. I will definitely say my parents have been my biggest supporters – their unwavering love and support and countless sacrifices have definitely been the cornerstone of my success and life, and I will always be grateful for them,” she said.

 

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