Hockey coach Gloria
Gloria is a somewhat reserved person, she is humble and soft spoken. She is the kind of person you would only hear good remarks about. Her actions speak louder than her words. Throughout the interview I could sense a genuine passion when she spoke about her hockey kids.
Gloria grew up in the Langa township, went to Wendermere Primary and afterwards to Kensington High School. She went on to study marketing at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
While discovering her true calling she participated in many other sporting codes ranging from netball and long distance track running to cricket and ballroom dancing. She started paying hockey in 1998, for Langa Hockey Club. In 2001 Gloria was selected to play for the Western Province U21 team; at that time she also played for Gula Hockey Club. The following year Gloria was selected to manage the U19 Western Province Girls Team. She managed the team from 2002 to 2009. Gloria also managed the Western Province Pens Ladies and Boland Ladies Teams.
Gloria now coaches hockey to the children of E-Section Khayelitsha. She uses her bakkie to lift children to the hockey fields where they train.
GroundUp spoke to Gloria:
GroundUp: When did you start coaching these kids?
Gloria: I started to coach a U14 boys hockey team in 2008.
GroundUp: Why did you start coaching these kids?
Gloria: I started to train these kids in order to try and get them away from gangsterism, crime, and drugs. It is a sad thing for me to see kids who smoke and do all sorts of things in the township.
GroundUp: Do you coach any other sports?
Gloria: I only coach hockey.
GroundUp: At what age do you begin to coach the kids?
Gloria: I used to start from U14; now I begin coaching kids from the age of 4.
GroundUp: Do you receive any funding from government for kit and other support equipment?
Gloria: No, we do not get funding from the government. We do get funding from the City of Cape Town which we use to facilitate practice and matches.
GroundUp: How do you fund the kits?
Gloria: The kits are donated to us by different people: SAHA (South African Hockey Association), Ryan from Amandla Kulutsha, UCT, and Princess Hockey SA. Also from tourists who come and visit us.
GroundUp: How long have you been coaching these kids?
Gloria: I have been coaching these kids since 2008. At first we only had one team and now we have about six.
GroundUp: Do you still play any sports?
Gloria: Yes, I still play hockey.
GroundUp: How much support do you get from the parents and the community?
Gloria: There are one or two parents that support us by coming to the games. We also have a registration fee which parents must pay. Other than that there is not much support from the community or parents.
Gloria is an inspiration and a role model for the youth of Khayelitsha E-section. Her ability to have taken up such a responsibility sends a message out to coaching staff from other sporting codes. With her humility and initiative being her greatest assets, she personifies the role of sports in empowering young South Africans.