The school hockey season ended a month ago, but 1st team hockey goalkeeper, Joshua Renders, hasn’t had a break – and he’s not going to get much of one either.
He came back from Durban on Monday where he helped the Southern Gauteng Mens B team win their inter-provincial tournament, to earn promotion to the A Section next year.
Joshua plays for Morningside Country Club in the local Premier League – and that season isn’t over yet. He is also training with the national mens indoor hockey squad; the indoor hockey season starts now; and it won’t be long before Jeppe’s pre-season gets going again.
“It’s all hockey for me, but I love it,” he said. “I played U13 provincial hockey in grade 7 and was the goalkeeper of the tournament there, which led to me coming to Jeppe. In Grade 9 I was in Sable, with some of the 1st team hockey players and they would fetch me and tell me to take my kit and go to the Astro with them. There, they would practice shooting and flicking – at me – which was a great learning experience.”
Joshua then went on to make the U14 and U16 provincial teams, and captained the Jeppe U16A team last year. This year he was in the Southerns U18A team that came second at the IPT and was selected for the SA U17 High Performance squad. “We went to a training camp and the important thing is that I am in the system and I will be going all out to make the SA Schools and U23 teams in the years to come.”
When asked how he copes with all that hockey, and still give his school work the necessary attention, Joshua said it has taken sacrifice. “I don’t go out much and, for me, relaxing is going to the gym on Friday nights because it take my mind off for a while.”
And then there are the bumps and bruises. “It’s a dangerous business,” he said, “and the ball always seems to find those bit of your body that are not protected by padding, especially in the indoor hockey season, which is starting now.”
Being a top-class hockey goalie clearly requires a special type of person. Joshua Renders is one of those. He is in Grade 11 this year and Jeppe hockey is very fortunate to have him back next year.