We caught up with Liya Herunga, the 15 year old Namibian Hockey player. Liya, who is a learner at St Paul’s College has been playing for 10 years now and we asked her a few questions about her sport and life as a Hockey Player.
Tell us more about yourself. Who is Liya?
I am a student of life who loves God, sports, animals and going on unplanned adventures. I thoroughly enjoy Science and anything art related is NOT for me. I am pursuing a career in medicine one day and I try to be optimistic because sometimes we forget just how beautiful life actually is.
What has inspired you to play hockey and has it always been a passion?
To be honest, in grade 1 it was compulsory for all of us to play hockey and it only became a choice as you moved further up the grades. However, I chose to continue because I loved the game and I really enjoyed the opportunities that it came with.
How do you juggle hockey, school and your social life?
I always try to balance everything and I definitely learnt that TIME MANAGEMENT is key. I give most of my time academics and sport so whenever I find the time, I go out with friends because it is important to have fun as a teenager.
How far do you want to go with hockey?
I want to play hockey until my matric year and I hope and pray that whichever university I go to offers hockey so that I can continue playing it there.
What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
The biggest challenge that I’ve overcome in hockey would definitely be a lack of belief in myself while I play however, I have definitely developed confidence now in the sport over the years.
Have you ever felt like giving up? What gets you going at such times?
Definitely! What keeps me going is my determination to overcome challenges and
I believe that all the “failures” are not “failures” but rather lessons that are preparing you for bigger and better things.
What advice would you give to younger hockey players?
My advice would be to do it because you want to do it, to enjoy every single moment and to not be too hard on yourself whenever you are having a bad game. You are human and we all make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes because that is how you improve as a hockey player. Lastly, respect your teammates and your coach because you are all in this together.
5 things you cannot live without?
Water, coffee, family, friends and God most importantly
Sneakers or heels?
Cape Town or Johannesburg?
Follow Liya Herunga on Instagram: @liya.herunga