Redefining girl power!
Juggling schoolwork and sports can be quite a daunting task for many but not for two girls who are taking girl power to a whole new level and leading in both the sporting codes.
Destiny Shongwe and Paulinah Mashishi are names to look out for in the future; both are very good at what they do. Destiny Shongwe is captain of the first hockey team, coach for the u/12 team (who won their league), Gauteng North player and a hockey umpire to complete the list.
She fell in love with hockey in grade 7 and after breaking her nose and still returning to the field, she realised that this was the sport for her. Over the years she has raked up plenty of awards some which include numerous player of the year awards as well as getting Gauteng north colours consecutively in grade 11 and again in grade 12; she also received her umpiring qualification.
Going ahead in the future she sees herself playing for the South African team and being the player to look out for. Her advice to aspiring hockey players is “You shouldn’t try to be perfect as it is the imperfections that will be worth the effort of playing the sport, never give up and keep on going”.
Then we have our very own cricket star Paulinah Mashishi with just as many numerous awards to her name. Her first encounter with cricket was in primary school and she realised that this was the sport she could best express herself in. She is in the Gauteng Women’s Cricket Provincial team. She has been in the u/13 u/16 and is currently in the u/19 team for her fifth time in a row now. In Prestige College, she is in the first cricket team and since there’s no girls’ team she plays with the boys and was even awarded for being the best bowler of the year in 2016, in the same year she was selected for the u/19 S.A finals.
This year she was awarded as the best bowler of the year in the u/19 S.A Women’s team. When asked if she feels intimidated being the only girl in an all-boys team she had this to say: “It doesn’t intimidate me, instead it makes me realise that I’m strong and brave and I feel special too.”
“Playing in a male dominated sport makes me want to achive my goals where most people think a girl can’t make it, I want to show that a girl can do it and be just as good.”
She sees herself playing for either the S.A women’s team or the Australian women’s team. Her advice to anyone who wants to play cricket is: “If you are determined and eager enough to put in the effort then you are ready, keep up the determination so that when challenges come you can face them knowing you are going to get through them.”
These are two very determined individuals making waves in their respective sports and taking ‘girl power’ to a completely new level, not letting anyone tell them that they cannot do it. It is inspiring to see that they are chasing their dreams and with hard work, they are reaping the fruits of their Iabour.