Interview With Jonelle Geldenhuys From Ferrum High School

Jonelle Geldenhuys, Captain of the Ferrum High School First X1 Hockey team, will lead her team as current Northern KZN Regional champs onto the astro in the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge that takes place at St Mary’s DSG, in Durban on July 20 and 21.
The plucky 18-year old, who hails from Memel in the Free State, plays centre link for the Ferrum team and is as much at home on the astroturf as she is on real turf. Despite being an ace hockey player, she has also notched up a number of accolades for her equestrian prowess.
She sports both academic and equestrian colours and was Hockey Puk 16 player of the year for four years since 2015. For five consecutive years, from 2012 to 2017, she won the overall National Champion for the Western Mounted Games and has obtained her South African colours for Western Mounted Games. She is in the KZN Country District team for hockey and in KZN Schools for Equestrian.
Jonelle started playing hockey in primary school where she was briefly introduced to the game but officially started playing hockey in Grade 8 at Ferrum High School. Now in Grade 12 and having played for the first team for two years, she has participated in two SPAR Hockey tournaments. She recalls the fun she had at these events. “The endless laughter and jokes of the field,” she says. “We all so appreciated the entertainment and the fun that the SPAR crew brought to the tournament – and as winners we loved receiving some amazing hampers from them too.”
As with many teenagers who play the sport, one of the driving factors that attracts her is the opportunity to make friends and work as a team. “I so enjoy making friends that I know will end up being lifelong ones, and such fun memories are made on tour as well,” she enthuses. “I love the adrenaline and sheer joy that comes with every single goal we score as a team. Fun aside, I appreciate the way I am able to push myself and strive to be the best I can possibly be whilst having a blast on the field.”
Jonelle, who also enjoys athletics, says Maths is her favourite subject because she “loves to find a way to solve math problems and I never get bored with it.” And she hopes to put this to good use. “I want to go study to become a chartered accountant at the University of Potchefstroom and also try to play hockey at the same time.”
Driven to succeed Jonelle says, “The best bit of advice I have been given by my coaches has been: You are capable of so much more than you know, as long as you believe in yourself and give your all every time you step out on the field.”
She has had the privilege of going on training camp to the Netherlands in Grade 8 and was selected this year by ECHS Hockey (the elite SA Hockey School and Tournament) to go on to the Netherlands where she will be playing matches and trained by some top trainers. Not surprising she is a big supporter of the Dutch Women Hockey team citing their midfielder Xan de Waard as one of her sporting heroes.
With a sister who is also a competitive equestrian, a mother who runs, having done a number of half marathons and full marathons, and father who is both their fitness and equestrian coach, it is no wonder that Jonelle lives by the words “you are your only limit” .
Ferrum High joins nine other teams from KZN at the Grand finals including St Anne’s College, Epworth School, Crawford La Lucia, Durban Girls’ College, Amanzimtoti High School, Kokstad College, Wartburg Kirchdorf School, St Mary’s DSG, and Felixton.
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram.

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