It comes as no surprise that Cindy picked up her first hockey stick when she was just seven-years-old. In fact, Cindy says she was pretty much raised alongside the hockey field with her father having been a Springbok hockey player.
“I participated in, and loved all the sports at school and it was a hard decision when the time came for me to choose one sport to focus on. I was swimming senior nationals at the time and had a lot of swimming on the go while also having a national U18 hockey tournament coming up. I ended up choosing hockey… and the rest is history.”
Because hockey is not considered a professional income-earning sport in South Africa, Cindy says most of her hockey career has been self-funded and she has been working for the University of the Free State in student recruitment services for the past eight years.
“I have played in both the England National League and in Holland where I was on a player contract. Today we are fortunate to have Spar as our national indoor team sponsor which relieves the financial pressure of tours.”
Cindy travels a lot during indoor season, often spending nights from her daughters. “I do take my girls with me when I can and my eldest Addison (4) actually had her first birthday at the Indoor World Cup in Germany. I do often opt to leave them at home and in their routine though,” she says.
Cindy’s role as captain means she is the also the point of contact between the players, the coach and the coaching staff. She is also responsible for motivating the team on and off the field and ensuring that they have a positive team culture.
“I also try to recognise all the different individual abilities we have by getting to know all the team members personally, encourage good relationships amongst the girls, and mentor the younger players.”
When asked what she loves most about playing hockey, Cindy says it’s the team aspect of the sport. “I will forever be grateful for the lifelong friends that I have made. Some of the girls and I have played together from young, and are still playing together, as are our children!”
“I really have achieved and done what I have wanted to in my hockey career. My biggest highlight to date has been becoming the first South African indoor hockey player to achieve 50 test caps. I am now just playing for the love and enjoyment of the sport and will play as long as I am enjoying it and able to maintain my level.”