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Kate’s third Olympics?

Western Province captain Kate Woods is line for a third tour of Olympic duty after the national women’s hockey team qualified for the 2012 Games in India last month.

Woods, formerly Hector, has amassed over 150 Test caps in a glittering career that has seen her as deputy to SA captain Marsha Marescia on many an occasion, but this weekend she faces provincial duty when she plays for Mobius Maidens in the third-fourth place play-off of the Princess Pro series.

They come up against Eurolux Fireflies at Hartleyvale Stadium, Cape Town on Sunday (4.30pm). The final will be between IndoJet Brothers Sport Strikers and Jewel Africa All Stars (3pm).

“It’s an awesome Pro-Series,” says Woods. “I think this is a fantastic initiative that will hopefully only grow in our province and country”.

The 2004 and 2008 Olympian (she was formerly Hector before getting married) is a major boost at centre-back for the SA women’s team.┬áShe took a sabbatical to become a mother last year, and her initial focus was only to play for WP again which she achieved when she joined her WP team to win the 2011 interprovincial tournament.

But SA coach Giles Bonnet’s professional approach convinced her that the chances of donning the green and gold again are not over.┬áWoods said Bonnet’s professional set-up has made the prospect of returning to the international arena very attractive; ÔÇ£he has done wonders with the team.┬áI admire Giles’s coaching philosophy that places so much emphasis on attacking, positive hockey and what I particularly like is the manner in which he deals with each player on a personal level,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£Another factor that influenced my decision is the support I have from my family and employers.ÔÇØ

Woods is a product category manager at Adidas and the balance she has between work and family life has contributed to her more relaxed approach on the field, which has made her an even better player.

The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team’s London 2012 Olympic dream is fast becoming a reality despite many obstacles that stood in their qualification path. There is little doubt that Woods would add enormous value to the team┬áand she was an integral part of the team that won the Olympic qualifier in India last month. If she stays injury free she will go to her third Olympics an amazing achievement for any athlete.