I am excited and nervous – Augousti

Taheera Augousti PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Bloemfontein school girl, Taheera Augousti, is over the moon after being included in a senior national women’s hockey team for the first time.

The 17-year-old Augousti, who attends Eunice Girls’ School, was named in the South African Performance Squad as one of four uncapped players.

Augousti was simply outstanding for her school on the astroturf and she played a major part in Eunice achieving the number two ranking in South Africa this year – only to be bettered by their big rival, C&N Sekondêre Meisieskool Oranje.

She not only impressed for her school, but she also shone at junior international level, senior provincial level, and it was during the recent Inter-provincial Tournament (IPT) that she caught the attention of the senior national selectors.

Augousti told Bloemfontein that she is naturally nervous, but the inclusion is taking one step closer to the dream of representing her county at senior level.

“I am excited and nervous at the same time,” said Augousti.

“It has always been my ambition to represent South Africa at a senior international level. I’m also very grateful to my coaches, teammates, family, and friends for all their support, time, and effort that they have put in.

“I’m aware that I still have a lot to learn and I want to use this opportunity to learn from the South African coaches as well as my new teammates. For me the hard work starts now, but I am up for the challenge.”

The other uncapped players in the Performance Squad are Ntsopa Mokoena, Kayla Swarts, and Jess Lardant. Mokoena hails from Bethlehem, while Swarts is a Eunice old girl.

SA Hockey also named the South African Emerging Squad and this includes Shindré-Lee Simmons and Chemelda Ontong, who are both currently playing for the University of the Free State. Ontong herself attended Eunice.

The immediate challenge for the South Africa women’s hockey team is the FIH Nations Cup, followed by test matches and the All-African Games as the team strives to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. – MORGAN PIEK