SELBORNE College Grade 11 pupil, Matt Dewar has been selected for the South African U18 B hockey team after the U18 Interprovincial Hockey tournament held at Kearsney College in Durban recently .
Dewar, who started playing hockey in Grade 3 at Stirling Primary, was also included in the South African U17 A team, who attended the High Performance training programme for an additional four days and trained with national coaches.
“It was a real honour and a privilege to be part of this High Performance programme and been exposed to national coaches that have extended my hockey awareness,” Dewar said.
The 16-year-old was chosen by a panel of selectors, who watched the 12 competing teams closely throughout the week. Two U18 teams and one U17 team was announced after the closing ceremony.
“This selection came as quite a surprise, but it meant the world to me, as I have been working extremely hard towards achieving this goal over the course of the year. “It has always been a dream of mine to play hockey at a national standard, and this selection serves as a huge stepping-stone towards reaching this dream,” the Selbornian said.
Dewar, who played hockey regularly from a young age with his father, is passionate about the sport and hopes to one day play for the South African men’s side.
“What I enjoy most about hockey is the speed at which it is played, because it really pushes you to your limits when it comes to fitness and making decisions quickly. It also gives you an exciting rush of adrenalin especially when the game is close and when it goes down to the dying seconds,” Dewar said.
“I got goosebumps when my name was called out. This selection has given me additional motivation and drive to keep working hard and to keep training and giving my all towards possibly achieving higher honours in the future.”
Dewar gives high praise to his Border provincial teammates, acknowledging the role they have all played in his selection.
“The team spirit on and off the field is one of the best things about hockey. I’ve made many lifelong friendships. I’d like to acknowledge my teammates on a fantastic tournament at Kearsney; without them, this would not have been possible. Thank you!” Dewar said.