Play Sport! from a Winner

by | Sep 1, 2006

 
Every picture we have of Henna du Buisson shows her grinning widely, and that is as it should be. 
 
This girl loves playing sport, she loves scoring goals, and she loves winning. gsport investigates the upside of sport by interviewing a national player who is a member of one of SA’s strongest hockey sides.
 
Du Buisson scored twice as many goals as any other striker in the recently completed SPAR Inter-Provincial Hockey Tournament, including the pivotal only goal in the final agains defending champions, Southern Gauteng, which clinched the cup for her team, Western Province.
 
This is as good as it gets! 
 

Having arrived back in Stellenbosch safely, du Buisson was friendly and entertaining in her response to gsport’s questions in support of playing sport. Here they are:

What position do you play?

I play striker. In modern hockey, the players rarely have set positions. In the national squad, I team up on attack with Jen Wilson, and Sharne Wehmeyer.

How many test goals have you scored?

My first test goal was in the African Cup against Ghana, and it was incredible! Each goal after that, it’s just like the first one, it’s amazing to score for your country. To date, I have scored 16 goals playing in the national squad.

What was it like to win the Inter-Provincial Hockey Tournament on Saturday?

Simply amazing, everything just got together! It’s always good to win a tournament like that, especially when we’re playing away from home, and here favourites Southern Gauteng were defending champions, on home-ground advantage.

Our game plan for the final consisted of a determined defence, with a strong counter-attack when the chances present themselves.

We thought Southern Gauteng were going to come out hard, particularly because of (the pool match) Wednesday’s result, but we knew we had to go out harder, and convert any opportunities that presented themselves.

Southern Gauteng had one 50/50 chance, and a lot of slim opportunities, but always it was always going to be a tough, physical, contest.

What was the blazer you earned on Saturday at the conclusion of the SPAR Inter-provincial Hockey Tournament (IPT)?

That was the national blazer, which is traditionally handed over to new caps, at the conclusion of the annual IPT.

Have you toured overseas?

I was in the squad for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, earlier this year.

Against who did you play?

Australia, India, Canada, Scotland, and Malaysia.

Who was the most difficult to score against?

Australia, as we didn’t manage to score against them, their game was a real eye-opener!

Their hockey has big supporting system, but I reckon we can compete against the best. They will be our first game in the World Cup.

What are your most significant sporting achievements?

Receiving my first cap against Ghana in the African Cup, and of course scoring each of the 16 goals I’ve converted for South Africa so far.

 

Do you play any other sport?

I enjoy a little golf when I have the time. I play off a 5 handicap. I generally prefer team sports, and had to chose between squash and hockey when I was still at school, and that’s the choice I’ve stuck with.

What do you do when you’re not playing hockey?

I’ve completed a BSc Sports Science degree at Stellenbosch. My two major subjects were psychology and sports coaching.

I work as sports manager for Maties Hockey Institute in Stellenbosch, and my duties include organising coaching and umpiring clinics.

This is ideal, as my job allows me time off to train, and to participate in hockey tournaments.

How long do you intend playing first-division hockey?

As long as I can, after that I’ll probably get more involved in supporting the game from a coaching perspective.

What is the importance of playing sport?

Making friends, hopefully learning from disappointments, but mostly just to have fun.

How do you keep fit out of season?

Doctor Karen Hugo (fitness coach for Maties and the National Squad prepares programmes for us, and our fitness levels are tested after holidays, and continually through the season.

My regular training involves six days of training each week, including gym work, stretching and strength training to keep limber, and lots of running.

We are carefully advised to ensure a minimum of 25min warm-up preparation before any sporting activity, to keeps injuries away.

Who are your sponsors?
Gryphon Hockey equipment (made in Australia) supplies me with hockey equipment, including boots, pads, clothing, etc.

center 

What would make your life as a hockey player better?

Oh, geez, well, us girls must continue a hectic 6-day-a-week training schedule, but we also must work a job to survive.

But I suppose, I’m lucky, I love the opportunity afforded me to participate in sport.

I hope for a greater women’s professional sports existence in South Africa, any improvement will be amazing.

Where do you live?

Stellenbosch, but I was born in Caledon.

What do you do like to do for a party?

Go dancing, I prefer hip-hop to rave, which I don’t like much. Mostly I enjoy a wide range of music.

What is your favourite food?

If I’m going out, it’s got to be a great steak, medium rare!

Who is the most important South African woman in sport?

Natalie du Toit, she’s so inspirational…

Who is your favourite men’s sports star?

Jonty Rhodes, even though he doesn’t play sport any more, Jonty rocks!

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Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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