Between hockey and horses

Sporty genes are strong in Amy Walker's family and she is determined to continue making her mark in the hockey world. Photo: Val Adamson

Ballito’s Amy Walker is making a name for herself both on the hockey turf and on horseback as she recently made the KZN Horse Riding Team and scooped various hockey awards.

“I love horse riding. I own a horse and show jump in shows up in Shongweni. I enjoy swimming too. But most of all I love hockey. It has been a life changing sport for me. I believe it has shaped me into a better person,” said the energetic, Ashton International College matric pupil, who started playing hockey nine years ago.

“I am hoping to attend university in America and play hockey over there. I want to carry on playing for as long as I can! I play up front as a forward – being able to surge forward and score goals as a striker is challenging and great fun. I love the team effort – every person contributes, both on and off the field.”

She was awarded the Most Promising Player at the Stellenbosch Hockey Tournament, as well as achieving Hockey Player of the Year at Ashton, and the award for Most Improved Player over her high school playing career.

“My best moment with stick in hand was playing with some of the South African hockey players in Stellenbosch. It was inspiring to meet the National team, and seeing their skills first hand!”

“But the most influential person in my life has to be my mother, although she is not famous and has not played much sport in her life, she has encouraged me to dream big and play hard, whether it is on the sports field or in life.”

Continuing to chat about family life, she shared that her brother, Ian Walker, is a football fanatic and that her step-dad, Russell Ashley-Cooper, achieved Zimbabwean colours in rugby, hockey, cricket, and water-skiing.”

“He was an amazing athlete in his time. My mum, Stephanie, is also a fantastic horse rider, and has ridden all her life.”

Away from the turf, she relishes time spent between a book’s cover, reading poetry or being around her friends indulging in the art of tea drinking.

“My other hobby is collecting fridge magnets from all over the world. My collection is well over 100 magnets from places such as Thailand, Paris, and Amsterdam – all the places my loved ones have visited.”

Living in Ballito, she enjoys being so close to the beach and living in such a ‘vibey’ town. Claiming to be a strong and driven person who will take on anything in life, this determined, hard worker is gearing up for the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN School Girl’s Hockey Challenge at the end of the month.

“Our training has been productive and we had practice all through the weeks leading up to finals. Ashton has come so far and we are hoping to do our best, whether it is in the top or bottom three – we know we will have done our best!”

Wise words from the captain with big dreams ahead.


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Elana Geist

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