Amba Brown, who plays right half for the Durban Girls’ College First X1 Hockey team, the Durban Central Regional champs of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge is eager to get onto the astro at the Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s DSG, in Durban on July 20 and 21.
The plucky 18-year old who is in Matric, not only is an ace on the astro with honours for hockey (2019) but also sports colours for waterpolo (2017) and half colours for football (2017). She has represented KZN in hockey for seven years from 2013 to 2019, and in waterpolo from 2013 to 2017.
Her leadership roles include being head of her school house and vice captain of the swimming team.
Amba began playing hockey in Grade 1 at a mini-hockey club on The Bluff, and she says that she still plays with many of the children that she met at the club. “We play against each other in school league and sometimes in the women’s super league. I’ve played hockey ever since and love it.”
Clearly Amba is completely passionate about the sport, but what is the attraction? “The people,” she says. “I enjoy spending time with friends and making memories. There are such good memories of doing a cool skill or scoring a well-needed goal. Also the backing of your players and how your own team-mates back you. They will always be there for you to help or encourage you. Tours are the best, you get to go and play the sport you love with the people that you enjoy being with, against some amazing schools and you get to watch some brilliant hockey from the best schools in the country.”
Using hockey as a great opportunity to learn some life lessons, Amba says the best bit of advice she has been given by a coach is “a come back is achievable no matter what.”
She explains, “I’ve recently come back from a tournament where we were losing 2 -nil down and ended the game in a draw 3 all. We learnt that giving up is not an option regardless the score. That you need to back yourself 100% of the time.”
Having played in last year’s Grand Finals, Amba is looking forward to playing again this year. “St Mary’s was once again in the finals and I remember rooting for them. All the teams and parents all finding good spots to try and watch a good game between them and St Anne’s. The whole atmosphere was amazing as there were so much support for schoolgirls hockey.”
Does she have any role models that inspire her? “There are actually too many to count,” she enthuses. “I cannot simply narrow it down to one but if I really had to choose it would be Shelley Jones (the legendary SA hockey player) who is in the same club as me at Riverside. I remember at one practice we were doing a drill and she was passing the ball to me and I tried to call her but I was so nervous that I was actually playing hockey with her, that I forgot to trap the ball.”
Always on the go, Amba says in her spare time she enjoys anything that keeps her busy. “I play sport in my spare time, anything from hockey to water polo to gym, basically anything that is active. I have just recently taken up scrap booking and I absolutely love it.”
Amba has three siblings, the older two have already moved out of home, but her younger brother Kieren, and her do a lot of things together. “We do gym , run and play hockey together. That’s also a competition,” she laughs. “We try run faster than one another, try do more push ups or pull ups and even try out skill another in hockey.”
And words she lives by? “Mistakes are proof that you are trying. The comeback is always stronger than the set back.” Sage words, for a young person on the move.
Durban Girls’ College joins nine other teams from KZN at the Grand finals including St Anne’s Diocesan Colleg, Kokstad College, Epworth School, Crawford La Lucia , Ferrum High School, Wartburg Kirchdorf School, St Mary’s DSG, Felixton and Amanzimtoti High School.
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram.