Stellenbosch University
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Years of training ensures alumna a spot on SA's Olympic hockey team
Author: Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni
Published: 18/08/2021

​Tarryn Glasby became the youngest person to be selected to represent South Africa in the U21 South African national hockey team at the Junior World Cup in India in 2013. Since then, there have been many exciting developments in Glasby's life, both personally and professionally.

Glasby wore the green and gold when she represented South Africa in this year's 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, an achievement that she says, “requires discipline over time because results never come within a short period of time, it requires years of training".

As a young girl enrolled at the El Shaddai Christian School in Durbanville, Cape Town, Glasby competed in most of the sports the school had to offer – swimming, netball, athletics and of course, hockey. Her passion developed as she became more focused on hockey and the results speak for itself. By the time Glasby reached Grade 12, she qualified for the Junior World Cup Team, and this led her to Stellenbosch University (SU) for training.

“When I was in Stellenbosch for training for the World Cup, I absolutely loved it. I decided to come to Stellenbosch University because of hockey," says Glasby.

She pursued her dream of studying at Maties and playing for their hockey team when she enrolled for a BCom Financial Management degree in 2014.

“I was able to manage my academic coursework because everything seemed to work out perfectly - when we had a hockey camp, it never fell within test week," she says.

She also credits the overall support that SU provides to athletes in helping her manage both her studies and sporting career. One such example is when she was allowed to extend her degree by a year in order to represent South Africa again in the Junior World Cup in her third year of studies.

While she lived in Heemstede during her first year, she had to skip most of the activities in the residence because of her hockey commitments. This led her to move out of the residence and into a flat until she completed her studies. After seven years with her partner, Glasby got married in 2021 and although she is still known professionally by her maiden name Glasby, she took her husband's name and is now also known as Tarryn Lombard.

Apart from representing South Africa internationally, she also works full-time for two hockey brands as a brand marketing manager. Her employers, she says, give her the flexibility she needs to train and compete as a professional hockey player.

“I am so blessed with the job I have," adds Tarryn.

Asked what advice she would give to up-and-coming athletes, she says: “I would encourage them to enjoy the process".

Glasby says that she plays her best hockey when she is having fun.

“If you are putting hard work into something that you actually enjoy, then you will see results." 

Photo credit: @tarrynglasby