Maties Hockey men's captain Alex Stewart and coach Ashlin Freddy represented South Africa as members of the South African men's hockey team that played in the final of the World Series event in India recently.
“Playing in my first major tournament for my country was an amazing experience," said Stewart.
“It is really cool to have made the step up and I was excited to have been selected. India was quite an experience. It was awesome to get to the final and show the powers-that-be that we can make the final of big tournaments. It was a good result for SA Hockey, for sure.
“On a personal level it was special to be part of such an important tournament. I thoroughly enjoyed playing in the challenging conditions. And we had a really good team vibe."
Freddy was part of the coaching staff.
“I was there as a trainer and video analyst. I assisted at training sessions and recorded and analysed the games," said Freddy.
“India was a great learning experience for me as a coach and analyst. Working alongside some of the best hockey minds and talent we have in the country was a great experience. It also put into perspective where our (Maties Hockey's) programme is in terms of the rest of the country and it was nice to compare it to the rest of the hockey world. Spending time with other analysts, having great discussions and picking their brains was valuable. These guys have spent years in the analytics game and worked with some of the best international coaches. They were always open to sharing knowledge and experiences, which I found priceless.
“All-in-all India was a great experience and one where I learned so much both on and off the hockey field."
Stewart will wear national colours again this August after being selected for the SA team that will be in action at the African Championships taking place in Stellenbosch. His Maties teammate Andrew Hobson was also selected for this team.
The African Champs for men and women will take place from 12-18 August. The winners of the tournament qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.