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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Alumnus and former Madibaz hockey player Jody Paul, would not “in a million years” have envisioned himself as the assistant coach of the Great Britain women’s team.

The 45-year-old ex-South African star was last month appointed to the position with the national team after spending 15 years heading the hockey programme at the University of Bath in England.

During that time Paul, who played 38 times as a defender for South Africa and went to the 2004 Olympic Games, also took on various coaching roles with England age-group teams.

He said he saw the national appointment as a step in a different direction to his previous positions.

“Until now, I have been involved in the U21 and U18 environment, which is all about developing players to potentially play senior international hockey,” said Paul.

“Now I see my role as one which is about performing on the world stage.”

He said his involvement with the elite development programme in Britain had played a big part in his appointment.

When Paul, who grew up in Gqeberha (then Port Elizabeth), reflected on his hockey journey he admitted that he had never dreamt it would come to this stage.

His coaching career started with a three-year stint as player-coach at Nelson Mandela University, before moving into the role fulltime by taking on the University of Bath post in 2006.

He had forged a new life for himself and his family in England, but said he would never forget his roots and the hockey opportunities he received while at Nelson Mandela University.

Paul said he would forever be indebted to the people who gave him the opportunity to play for the varsity.

Paul said his specific role in the Great Britain management team was still being defined, but that he would most likely be working on the technical development of the players in the programme.

Contact information
Mr Riaan Osman
Deputy Director
Tel: 041 504 2170