Class of 2020 in the spotlight: Amanda Holmes from Durban Girls’ College
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in schools closing and students learning from home, ultimately leaving no room for sport. One has to feel for the Grade 7’s and 12’s in their last years of primary and high school. The boys and girls worked hard on the pre-season training and looked forward to a year full of excitement, recognition and new experiences but now have missed out on certain opportunities in 2020. AWSUM would like to give them some recognition as they will never be able to turn back the clock and write their own bit of school history in a year that was to be their biggest in their school career.
AWSUM spoke to Amanda Holmes from Durban Girls’ College’s 1st netball and hockey team.
This is a difficult year for the Matrics of 2020, and even more so for the sportsmen and women. Can you describe to us your personal experience and feelings in this regard? Covid-19 has put a pause on many of the goals regarding sport. It’s been difficult to comprehend the way it makes me feel. A feeling of frustration is also followed by a feeling of gratitude and reflection on my sport. It‘s made me realise how great the passion I have for my sport is, and how difficult it is not being able to play or train with my teammates. It’s given me a chance to focus on not the physical side of sport, but the mental side. I’ve taken some time to recreate my goals and where I see myself going forward from here. It has also given me the opportunity to strengthen the little muscles in my body to prevent injuries by doing online ballet and pilates. It has also given me the chance to let my body rest. I expected my experience and feelings about missing out on a year of sport to have been much more devastating. Although it’s a big year I’ve missed, it’s made me realise the small things I need to focus on and that I must always take the time to reflect.
What were you looking forward to the most this year? I’m definitely still looking most forward to being able to get back on the turf and court and to train with my teammates. Although we may not be able to play matches or go on tours, the enjoyment of the game includes the friendships you develop within your team.
Who would have been your toughest opposition and why? Our toughest opposition in hockey would have definitely been St Mary’s DSG Kloof. It’s always a competitive game but in the same way so enjoyable to play because it could go either way. It’s also played very cleanly with such good sportsmanship. In netball our toughest game would have been against Crawford La Lucia. We won against them in indoor netball at the beginning of the year but lost to them last year. It’s always tough playing them and we always seem to take turns winning against each other.
Any outstanding players in your team(in your opinion) that the public missed out on seeing this year? There are so many outstanding players in both my netball and hockey teams. In hockey my respects go out to the matrics as they’ve always been the most determined and hardworking. From BB bulldozing through the whole opposition’s team and never giving up to Jenna S leading our team and passing the best passes to us forwards. Nicole H at the back adds so much to the team, she does her job perfectly without having to be too showy, along with Gabi G at the back tackling anyone that comes her way. In netball we only have 1 matric in our team, but I’ve played with her for 3 years and she’s the most dedicated and hardworking player. She definitely deserves to be seen by the public. She recently won player of the match in our Action Netball finals.. Nika Govender is an inspiring player to watch and I have loved playing netball by her side throughout the years.
What makes it special to play for the first team of Durban Girls’ College? Being able to play first team sports for Durban Girls’ College is an honour. All the younger grades look up to you and you almost feel a responsibility to represent them and your school in the best way possible. Playing first team makes you want to play for your teammates, not for yourself. It shows you what teamwork really is because the teams you play against aren’t that easy to beat anymore. You’re playing the best players from every school. This develops maturity as you learn that the game isn’t played to make yourself be the shining star, but for your team to be the shining team. No one remembers who scored the goal in the finals, they only remember the team that won the finals. Playing for a first team is an honour and shouldn’t be taken lightly. As Miss Meek would say, “you play for the badge that’s on the front, not the number that’s on the back.”
What is your best memory on the netball and hockey court thus far? My best memory on the sports field was an indoor hockey game against St Mary’s DSG Kloof at the end of last year. St Mary’s had their best team and we ended up winning 9-3. We played as a team and everyone played their part and we connected so well. It was one of the biggest wins College has had against St Mary’s.
Why would you recommend Durban Girls’ College to future scholars? I would highly recommend Durban Girls’ College to future scholars because when you play in a sports team at DGC, you don’t only see the teammate next to you as a sports player, but you see them as family and everyone wants to play for one another and not for themselves. DGC puts great emphasis on sportsmanship and we’ve never had a problem in that area. Every match is a competitive but clean game.
What is your focus for the rest of 2020? My focus for the rest of 2020 is to strengthen my weak areas and rest my injuries to be prepared and ready to go into a very competitive season in 2021. I’m also focusing on my mental game and planning my goals for next year.
What are your plans for 2021? My plans for 2021 are huge, as I’m going to be in matric. I plan to set a good example for the younger grades and to represent my school positively on and off the sports field. I plan to lead the youngsters, as I will be the eldest, whilst being a positive role model with good sportsmanship. I plan to put much preparation into our annual hockey tour to St Mary’s Waverly and to hopefully place in a high position at the end of the tournament.
A message to your teammates of 2020? I know this time has been difficult, especially for the matrics, but I know next year and even maybe at the end of this year we are going to come out stronger and better than ever. We are going to play for the badge on our chest and not the number on our backs. We need to stay positive and move forward as a team and not individuals.