Michael Davids, goalkeeper for the Free State under-16 hockey team, was selected for the SA under-16 hockey squad at the conclusion of the Inter-provincial Tournament in Pietermaritzburg during the July holidays.

Michael, a grade nine learner at Saint Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein, still has another year in the age group and admitted to being a little surprised to have earned national recognition so soon: “I really didn’t think it was going to happen this year. It has just been unbelievable,” he said.

In 2017, he was a member of the school’s under-14 A hockey team, but this year he was thrown in the deep end, representing the 1st XI. That challenge, though, has helped him became a better players, Michael reckoned: “It just made it easier for me, because first team is a hard level to play at. Also playing at under-16 level, it felt a little bit easier. It’s different.”

Mikey was a national champion in his age group in all styles karate in 2016, but stopped the sport this year to concentrate on hockey.