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Honour for star Bright

By Mark Etheridge

Recently named 2011 South African Womens’ player of the year, Tarryn Bright reckons the award “is an absolute honor”.

Bright and KwaZulu-Natal’s Taine Paton were given that honour by the South African Hockey Association.

The Western Cape athlete is currently plying her trade in Holland and was involved in international action for the Investec SA side on Monday night when they went down narrowly to Germany, losing 4-3 in the Netherlands side or Arnhem.

“To be chosen as the 2011 South African Women’s Player of the Year is, for me personally, is an absolute honor,” 28-year-old Bright told Road to London 2012. “When I consider the quality of players that I have played with and against during this year, at both provincial and national level, it is with enormous pride and sporting respect that I accept this award. Only when one looks at the names of previous winners on the Ros Howell Trophy, is the enormity of this prestigious award, realized. Karen Roberts, Marsha Marescia and Pietie Coetzee ÔÇô truly great players and ambassadors of the South African game.”

Bright, who has represented Western Province, SA Universities and South Africa during her illustrious career has been a key part of the SA team since January 2005, currently boasting 169 caps and a handy 42 goals. Her travels have taken her to the five continents on national duty.

“A particular highlight for me this year was that I was lucky enough to be on the field when one of these previously mentioned great players, namely Pietie Coetzee, broke the world goal-scoring record during a Champion’s Challenge match in Dublin. It was an extraordinary moment for her and for all involved with South African hockey. The T-shirt which reads ÔÇ£I played with Pietie when she broke the world recordÔÇØ, is my proud memento of an amazing hockey achievement.”

When she’s not flying the national flag, Bright is doing her stuff in Holland. “I’m currently contracted with the Rotterdam Hockey Club, playing in the Premier League, or ÔÇ£HoofdklasseÔÇØ. This is my fourth season in Holland, having previously played for the Forward Club in Tilburg and the Nijmegen Hockey Club.

“The standard of hockey in Holland is exceptionally high and the experience gained at this level is invaluable for any international player. Each match is played against teams with at least a few Dutch, German, British, Spanish and Argentinian International players, not to mention the players in the ÔÇ£Jong OranjeÔÇØ teams.”

The South African influence is keenly felt in the Netherlands says Bright. “In fact, during our Hoofdklasse match this past weekend between Rotterdam HC and Pinoke HC, no less than six South African national players took to the field. The crowds attending the Hoofdklasse matches are fantastic, even in the most adverse of weather conditions. They cheer your every move which has an extremely positive influence on your game, especially when playing at home. ”

SAHA Chief Executive Officer Marissa Langeni took time out to praise Bright on Wednesday. “Tarryn was named Africa Hockey’s Women’s Player of the Tournament at the recent Africa Olympic Qualifier. She is an exceptional player and is well respected by her teammates. So it’s not surprising that she’s been crowned this years Women’s Player of the Year.”


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