Zonal cappie excels on turf and in the pool

Crawford's Skyla Barnes is making a name for herself in hockey.

The Southern Zone side started their campaign on a sour note losing 2-1 to Silvermine.

This was followed by three consecutive victories against Helderberg, Table Bay and Northerns which was enough to see them win the competition. Southern Zone scored 10 goals and conceded three throughout the tournament.

Skyla who also captains Central Hockey Club’s under-14 side, said the competition was strong and there was good quality on display.

“I was happy with my performance and motivated my team all the time. This tournament has given me great exposure and will put me in good stead going forward. Overall, we played well, considering we did not practise during the school holidays,” she said.

The youngster made the Southern Zone side following trials at Wynberg and Herschel girls’ high Schools, earlier this year.

Skyla, said the trials were tough but was glad that she made the team. “I am excited about my selection and motivated to do even better. I am not there to make up the numbers but to prove to myself, parents, coaches and selectors that I can make the Western Province A side,” she said.

She said the leadership skills she had acquired over the years will stand her in good stead going into major competitions.

That is not really surprising as she has led the Central under-14 side to six wins from eight matches this season.

The youngster said they are having one of their best seasons with every player in the squad doing their best; even those coming off the bench had a huge impact.

She credits her former coaches Noleen Cloete and Dorothy van Staden who, she said, saw potential in her at an early age. And, since the age of nine, she has been playing in the under-14 side.

Skyla has also proved to be a multi-talented sportsperson who gives her all across all sporting codes that she participates in.

“When not on the turf, Skyla is out making her mark in the water, swimming for Vineyard Swimming Club, in Claremont.

In one of her first major competitions, Skyla won gold in the 25-metre butterfly event at the Western Cape, Boland and South Western District championships, in 2013.

She went on to take part in the Western Province schools championships and was selected to represent the WC schools team, a year later.

And, as if that was not enough, she won silver in the WP open water championships, in Grabouw, last year.

Her next mission is to do well in waterpolo.

“I love being around people and I believe that is why I enjoy playing hockey because it is a team sport. Swimming is more of an individual sport but at training one works as part of a bigger team,” she said.

Her father, Mark, said his daughter is a hard worker at everything she does, including swimming and hockey.

“She has great leadership qualities and talks non-stop on the pitch by encouraging her fellow teammates. She trains hard, never misses a training session and would always put in an extra bit, be it going to a gym or for a run,” he said.

Barnes said he would like to see her excel in sport and hopefully wear the green and gold one-day.

“I would like to see her complete matric first, further her studies and to make a positive impact in society,” he said.