After returning from the Olympics, South African hockey player Kate Hector of Greenpoint is putting her stick down and her feet up for the next three months.
The last year has hectic year for Kate. She’s moved from Stellenbosch to Cape Town, taken a full-time position with Adidas as a Category manager in the product department and, oh yes, let’s not forget, played in the South African hockey squad at the Beijing Olympics. But the radiant twenty seven year old who greets me at the door of her Greenpoint flat seems to have taken it all in her stride.
. Kate has made the transition from wine farms of Stellenbosch to the buzz of the city bowl with characteristic ease and grace. “I love living here. It’s so vibey. She’s had to adjust to a lot less space because she shares a stylish but tiny one bedroom flat with Duncan Woods, captain of the South African water Polo team, and her boyfriend of seven and a half years. However, she’s made the whole of Greenpoint her backyard: “This area used to be considered grotty, but it’s really improving. The vibe is awesome. When I jog along the promenade in the evening, I meet so many friends. In the evening I love just sitting on the balcony and looking out over the city.”
But it’s Camps Bay where Kate has set her sights. Her eyes light up when she speaks about her favourite part of the city: “It’s so cosmopolitan; you could be anywhere in the world. With the ocean in front of you and the mountain behind, it’s hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful.”
Kate’s idea of a great time is to enjoy a refreshing mint mojita at Camps Bay. As far as I’m concerned, she deserves as many cocktails as she likes after the nine months of gruelling training that she endured in order to prepare for the Olympics. For six days a week, while most of us were buried deep in our duvets, she had already begun to work up a sweat at the gym. Then, after work, it was on to the hockey turf in the evening to work on her game.
Now that Kate’s back from the Olympics she’s taking a clean break from hockey and putting her stick in the broom closet for the next three months. She’s only doing leisure training – playing tennis, surfing, swimming and spinning at the gym. But she’s not resting on her laurels just switching her focus to her career: “I’m finding my feet in full time employment with Adidas.”
Sundays have always been sacred to Kate and are reserved strictly for relaxing on the couch watching sport on the television with her boyfriend. Both of them are competitive, driven people who refuse to settle for mediocrity but they reserve their competitive spirit for their respective games and Kate says, “The great thing is that we don’t fight over the television remote – we are both sports fanatics.”
With Kate’s California sunshine look it’s not surprising that she can’t wait for summer when she plans to hit the beach with a vengeance. It’s Camps Bay for her, not Clifton “where I have to worry what bikini i’m wearing.” But already Kate’s Jennifer Arniston gorgeous girl next-door good looks are complimented by a deep tan, courtesy of Beijing.
On Kate’s wall is a black and white photo if a couple kissing in Paris. She’s a romantic and very much in love with Duncan. They decided to move to the city so that they could spend more time together. Previously, their sporting commitments kept them passing each other like ships on the night. Duncan has also started a new job and so the couple are facing a new chapter in their life together. There are hopes for marriage and kids once they have settled into their careers. “Definitely it should be on the cards but life has been so hectic. In ten years time I see myself in Camps Bay with three or four little surfer bums, content with what I have achieved.”
Kate’s happy to be back in her own space after being on tour for five weeks. “The South African hockey team is a very close team. Not all teams get on so well: put a bunch of women in close contact for any length of time and you’re bound to get on each other’s nerves. Women get emotional and carry baggage, but South Africans in general are friendly and easy.”
Kate is the Vice-Captain of the team and describes herself as “quite tough” and “definitely supportive.” Maybe that’s because she’s had to face some challenging chapters in her own life. On the surface, this golden girl has it all, but she’s had her share of hardship. Her Dad died when she was four and her brother was six. Her brother has stepped into the protective father role, but Kate says she’s missing her Dad more as she gets older and realises the extent of her loss. She enjoys a very close relationship with her mum. “We spend lots of time hanging out together. She looks and acts young for her age and she’s more like a sister. I’m not one for spending lots of time fussing over my appearance but if I go clothes shopping, it’s with my mum.”
Kate’s little black book
works out at The Point Virgin Active 021-434 0750
drinks sundowners at Wafu in Mouillie Point 021-433 2377 or Tuscany Beach restaurant in Camps Bay 021- 438 1213/0559. Her favourite cocktail is a Mojita
eats sushi, her favourite food, at Wakami 021- 4332377 or Codfather 021-438 0782/3.
for breakfast, it has to be smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on a croissant at Lazari in Gardens or 021-461 9865 or anything from the breakfast menu at Manna in Klooof Street 021- 4243932.
guilty pleasure a slice of her mum’s lemon meringue pie or McDreamy or McSteamy.