Kelsey aims to gently “shake the world”
First up in the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge this year is a derby day of hockey on Sunday 3 March, with St John’s D.S.G. hosting the Pietermaritzburg Central Regionals and The Wykeham Collegiate, the PMB Northern Regionals. We chatted to captain of host school St John’s, Kelsey Paige Dellar, a Grade 12 learner who is passionate about life, learning, sport, and in particular hockey.
Leading the team out onto the field for the ninth SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, determined midfielder, Kelsey Dellar, will be focused on winning back the regional title which they held in 2017, and lost to Epworth in 2018. “I think one of my best memories of playing the SPAR tournament was in the final against Epworth in 2017. We won and I remember our whole team huddling together and celebrating. It was one of my favourite hockey moments and we all bonded as a family.”
The feisty Deputy Head Girl, not only has excelled in academics with honours, but has proved herself a worthy competitor in a number of sporting codes with colours for hockey and half-colours for soccer, as well as first team awards for indoor and field hockey, swimming, water polo, soccer and cross-country. Her provincial accolades include playing for hockey for KZN U18B, U16B as well as KZN U16 inland soccer.
Kelsey began her hockey career in Grade four at Pelham Senior Primary School, and says that she most enjoys playing the game because it gives her the “opportunity to be a part of a team and to be completely selfless.”
The sport, she says, has also given her opportunities to learn some important life lessons. “I started off my hockey career by making the U10D team in Grade four,” she laughs. “I thought that I had no potential and I was absolutely terrified of being hit by a hard, round, white ball. The thing that kept me in the game was my friends. They encouraged me to make a higher team to be with them. Eventually, I moved up to B team the next year and finally made first team in Grade six. If it wasn’t for the motivation of my coaches, family and friends; I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
The hockey bug caught her at a young age and has continued throughout her high school career. “Hockey continues to give such fantastic life lessons,” she says. “Our coach Lyndal Robertson (aka Binks) once said to me that I must never ask a parent or coach where I went wrong, but ask myself the same question. That’s when I was able to flourish as an individual player and not base my performance on other people’s opinions.”
She cites former St John’s captain Charllene Boshoff who matriculated in 2018, as one of her top role models. “Charllene is currently playing hockey in America but played with me last year for the first team. She constantly inspires me to give of my best and I admire all the hard work and dedication which she puts into hockey. She is definitely a player whom I look up to and one of my closest friends.”
Off the hockey and soccer fields, and out of the pool, Kelsy also enjoys going for runs, doing yoga and reading as well as creating art.
Clearly one up for a challenge, she says that her favourite subject is Maths as “I love the feeling of solving a problem and the ability to formulate an answer from a tricky equation.”
And while she is not 100% sure of what she wants to study yet, she is interested in the finance and business world and will probably go on study a BCom degree when she leaves school.
The fun-loving and quietly spoken sports-lover says she aspires to live by the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
The Pietermaritzburg Central Regionals take place on Sunday, 3 March at St John’s D.S.G. Fixtures will be published on the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Facebook page.
Caption to photo by Jonathan Burton:
St John’s 1st Hockey X1 Captain Kelsey Dellar looks forward to the PMB Central regionals of the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, hosted by her school on March 3.