The Rise of Hockey IPT Winner Mmatshepo Modipane

by | Nov 3, 2021

Inspirational Southern Gauteng goalkeeper, Mmatshepo Modipane, is still savouring her Goal Keeper of the Tournament accolade at the Women’s Hockey IPT 2021.

She didn’t have it all her way during the tournament but if how it ends matters, she thrived in the pressure cooker finals against Western Province to see Southerns home to their third IPT title in five editions.

Southern Gauteng High Performance co-ordinator, Tsoanelo Pholo, was full of praise for Modipane when she spoke to gsport shortly after the team’s win: “Mmatshepo is one the hardest working athletes in the country and it showed when it counted.”

Southern Gauteng Crowned Hockey IPT Champs

The star, who is early in her days as a national team player says she is eyeing a place in the AFCON, World Cup and Commonwealth Games team in 2022 and the Olympics team in 2023.

She is also a rising coach, who recently coached the Jozi Warriors boys U14 team, and is set on learning more about the art of coaching.

Ultimately, Modipane wants to make an impact on the hockey field as well as off it, with dreams of one day owning her own hockey academy.

She spoke to gsport shortly after winning the Women’s Hockey IPT 2021 with Southern Gauteng.

 

Mmatshepo, congratulations on being named goalkeeper of the tournament at the Hockey IPT. How did you feel about your performance during the tournament?

To be honest I struggled going into the tournament mentally and conceding goals between the legs against Northerns was tough. I had to pull myself towards myself in the 8 seconds and focus, I felt great after making the first save. I felt incredible after not conceding any goals during the 8 seconds and that set me up for the finals.

 

What’s it like playing for a powerhouse like Southern Gauteng and being surrounded by such legends of the game?

Playing for Southern Gauteng is a privilege and a blessing. It encourages me to be a better player because I am playing with legends of the game and at a high standard.

 

You seem to handle pressure well. Where does that come from?

The backing and support from family, team mates, coach and frequent practice.

 

When did you start playing hockey and at what stage did you decide to take it seriously?

I started playing hockey in 2001 as a striker and starting playing goalkeeper in 2006. I starting taking it seriously in 2016.

 

You have had the honour of representing the SA women’s hockey team. Tell us about some of the highlights and your future hopes in the green and gold.

My highlights was the summer series in 2020 in Stellaboch against Ireland and Germany. My future hopes in the green and gold is to make the AFCON, World Cup and Commonwealth Games team in 2022 and the Olympics in 2023 all by God’s grace.

 

Who are your hockey heroes and how do they inspire you?

Inka van Wyk, she inspired me through courage and perseverance.

 

How can we improve the state of women’s hockey in South Africa?

Making accessible for all girls around the country. Have more media coverage about hockey, sponsorships and financial support.

 

You also coach a boy’s age group hockey team. What is that experience like?

Coaching the Jozi Warriors boys u14, was a great learning experience and hoping to continue to enlarge my knowledge and wisdom in coaching.

 

Do you see a future in coaching once your playing days are over later on in your career?

Yes I do.

 

What is your advice for up-and-coming hockey players?

It doesn’t matter what others say, set your goals and work hard to achieve them and be yourself.

 

What is your greatest ambition?

Play at the Olympics, play overseas and start my own hockey academy.

 

Photo 1 Caption: Southern Gauteng goal keeper Mmatshepo Modipane (right) in a celebration mood after winning the 2021 Hockey IPT trophy with her team and scooping the tournament’s Goal Keeper of the Tournament accolade. Photo: Mmatshepo Modipane (Instagram)

 

 

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