The South African senior women’s hockey team will be counting on the services of the experienced University of Johannesburg (UJ) student and hockey player, Kristen Paton, in the upcoming 2022 FIH Women’s World Cup in Spain and Netherlands in July.
On Wednesday, 10 May 2022, Paton was announced as part of the South African women’s hockey team. She was named alongside three UJ alumni and former players Lisa Deetlefs (Olympian – with 271 national caps), Bernadette Coston (155 caps) and Robyn Johnson (28 caps) who were also included in the squad.
“I wouldn’t have believed that I’d be going to my second World Cup if you asked me this a couple of years ago as the bright eyed kid pushing to make the national team. I’ve always set my standards high and I don’t believe that they have ever been too high. I want to be one of the best international players in the world and if you never dream it and you never push for it, you’ll never get there,” says Paton, excitedly speaking about her selection.
She adds, “I feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to be coached by Giles. I’ve dreamt about this since I started my career. I’m very excited for our programme and what lies ahead for team.”
Speaking on Paton’s and the three alumni’s selection for the World Cup, UJ Hockey Club Manager, Anton van Rooyen, says, “It is always a warm and proud feeling to see our current and former UJ players excel in their sporting careers. The fact that we were involved in their preparation to play at such bigger stages, inspires us even more to give the current players the same tutelage and do more for them to reach the same heights.”
Paton has 43 caps in national colours. She played for SA Hockey in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. She is a Master of Health Science, Chiropractic student and a chiropractic intern at UJ.
South Africa are in Pool D with Australia, Belgium and Japan and will be based in Spain in the World Cup. They will play their opening game against Belgium on 3 July, followed by Japan on 5 July, and Australia on 6 July 2022.