Recent BSc Honours graduate, Angela Welham (22) has been a star in the Maties Hockey side since her first year in 2019. The young vibrant defender has been a stand-out performer since her high school days at Herschel Girls High School in Cape Town.
No stranger to the strict high-performance environment in sport, Welham has represented Western Province since U14, U16, U18, and U21 levels. During this time, she was awarded the most valuable defender at the U18 National Tournament.
She recently represented South Africa at the 1st African Hockey5s World Cup Qualifier in Egypt. South Africa won the bronze medal and with that qualified for the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup set to be hosted in Oman in 2024.
In 2022 her success continued as she was selected to represent South Africa at the U21 Hockey Junior World Cup. In 2018 she was selected as part of the SA All-Stars Indoor Hockey Team.
In addition to her prowess on the field Welham has enjoyed great academic success testament to her diligence and hardworking ethic she has displayed since a young age.
She attributes much of this ethic to the team sport environment she has been privileged to be part of, specifically highlighting the positive effects that Maties Hockey has had on her.
“My involvement in a team sport has taught me lessons like accountability, discipline, resilience, respect, and teamwork,” Welham told Maties Sport. “Maties Hockey has provided me with opportunities to grow physically (training and recovery), mentally, and emotionally (workshops).
“Added to this it has exposed me to video analysis and board talks which have stimulated me intellectually. The benefits of these platforms have no doubt aided in enhancing my performance allowing me to achieve both individual and team goals.”
The Maties Hockey star affirms and applauds the support she and her teammates receive when it comes to their academics. Welham praised the support not only of the coaching staff, and her fellow student teammates, but also of the lecturers, student advisors, and professors within the university’s academic space.
“Maties as an organisation understand [that] a players’ degree takes priority over the sport. With this very belief, my Maties coach, Lenise Marais, understands when the players’ academics need to be prioritised.
“This support has allowed me to focus and succeed in my studies when academic times are demanding, without a decrease in my performance on the field. Furthermore, Stellenbosch is a prestigious university with an excellent education system, lectures, and supervisors. These educators understand my commitment to sports and together we find a balance for me to complete my assignments and tests etc., whilst I am away on sports tours.”
Welham’s thesis title “Investigating the Verlorenvlei’s Recovery Using Stable Isotopes & Hydrochemistry” describes how her love understanding the environment and nature led her to apply her mind in this scientific discipline.
“A passion for the environment and climate lead me to study a BSc in Earth Science for my undergrad and honours.”
Maties hockey fans will be delighted to know that former Herschel star athlete will still be donning the maroon colours for at least two more years, as she continues her studies while completing her Master’s.
“I believe life is a continuous learning journey,” she continued.
“Therefore, to expand my knowledge and passion for the environment, I am undertaking my Master’s in BSc Earth Science at Stellenbosch University from 2023-2024. Furthermore, I can continue my passion to play hockey at Maties for two more years, as I am not ready to close this chapter just yet.”