Current SA Women’s Hockey striker and midfielder, Shelley Russell, supported by Investec, launched the Investec Hockey Academy earlier this year. The intention is to provide a comprehensive, multi-dimensional hockey training academy aimed at vastly improving performance of female South African players at all levels.

The academy has run three sets of successful courses for schoolgirls to date, one in Stellenbosch and two in Johannesburg. It is now bringing its line-up of former and current SA hockey players, to share their expertise, to Durban for the first time in October.

Russell cemented her place in South African sporting history when she achieved her 200th cap for South Africa in 2012. She believes that playing sport from a young age has benefits which surpass the sports field and hopes to encourage other youth to play sport.

“I feel that it is important to be out there, taking part in outdoor exercise, from a health and general well-being perspective. There are so many life lessons to be learned from the discipline of sport, especially fitting into a team dynamic. If we can instil love for sport within the youth, that would be first prize,” says Russell.