Meet Summer Rutherford : Epworth Vice-Captain
This Sunday (March 3) sees 13 top Pietermaritzburg hockey teams take to the astro in two of the local regionals of the 9th SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge. The PMB North Regionals will take place at The Wykeham Collegiate and the Centrals take place at St John’s D.S.G.
Summer Rutherford, Vice-Captain of Epworth, the Centrals defending champs, has high hopes for the team as they compete against St John’s D.S.G., Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School, Russell High, Alexandra High, Maritzburg Christian School and Carter High in a day of fun festive, and healthily competitive hockey.
With her eyes set on becoming a sport psychologist, Summer (17), who plays defense, is somewhat of a sports fanatic. Besides holding the honour of being the 2019 Head of Sport at Epworth, she is also in the first teams for indoor hockey, basketball, soccer and water polo – and still finds time to run cross-country. Summer is in the Provincial Midlands Water Polo Team, has half colours for water polo, and has received captains’ awards at school for soccer and water polo.
The energetic young team player has enjoyed sport for as long as she can remember, having started her hockey career back in Grade one at primary school. Little wonder she holds one piece of inspirational advice given to her to “play for the little girl inside of you, that fell in love with the game.”
It’s the sense of belonging and working together that truly attracts Summer to hockey. “I love the camaraderie and team spirit that exists in the game of hockey,” she says.
Citing art as her favourite subject, Summer says she loves the “unconventional way of thinking and working” it provokes, qualities she no doubt will use in good stead as she studies sports science at either Stellenbosch or Tukkies when she leaves school.
Away from school sports and academics, Summer, who lives on the North Coast, loves surfing, longboarding and running.
Coming from sporty family – mum Cindy cycles competitively and dad Quinton is involved in canoeing and surf skiing, Summer says one of her sporting heroes is current SA Field Hockey player, Jethro Eustice because “he is a talented sportsman both in field and indoor hockey yet remains so humble about it”.
Summer played in last year’s Grand Finals at St Mary’s DSG, and remembers well the feeling of winning over the then-current champs St John’s D.S.G. “When we won against them in the regional final, our team all ran to give our fantastic goal-keeper Catia Cocciante a group hug. It was a great feeling ”
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Photo: Summer Rutherford, Vice-Captain of Epworth, in action at last year’s PMB North Regionals of the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge.