The challenges of being a hockey player and a mother, Cindy Hack’s Family Story

By Pablo Mendoza

Pablo Mendoza is an FIH Hockey Academy Educator and the owner of A Hockey World. Contact:

Cindy Hack is an international South African hockey player who participated in the 2009 & 2015 Indoor World Cup but, most importantly, she is the mother of a lovely girl. In this interview, she tells us about the challenges that many female hockey players have to face in life, this is truly a great story to read.

Cindy and her daughter Addison, during the 2015 World Cup

1. Cindy, please tell us about your hockey beginnings and your background:
Well hockey has always run in the family. My Dad was a Springbok hockey player and so it always ran in my blood. My brother Michael and I used to play on the side of the field and in the garden from small. It was great having Mike to play with as he was never soft on me -often getting a ball on the head- toughened me up for the game, we both represented our country at the 2009 Indoor World Cup.

2. Tell us about your international career:
I played South African schools throughout my school career and then broke into the Senior National Indoor program  in 2006 until present. I also played with the outdoor national team between 2009 and 2012.

3. When you became a mother, things must have changed but what effect did it have on you and how did they change you?
I retired from outdoor National hockey in 2012 as I was getting married and wanted to have a family. In February 2014 my little girl Addison was born. The best decision and gift I have ever gotten! Things definitely change as your priorities change and I realised truly that is what I wanted out of my life. So many things I thought I had wanted but they all seemed so minimal and insignificant when she arrived as she was and is such a little miracle.

Cindy playing for South Africa

4. Did you think that you were going to be part of the national team again?
I definitely did not even considered playing outdoor international hockey after I had Addison as I know the amount of hours I used to put in not just with the team, but into my own personal training. Now my time is very valuable and I want to spend as much time with her as possible. Our outdoor camps and tours are also long in terms of weeks and months away from home,  so this was definitely a no no. However, I remained in the indoor set up and came back into the team as Captain when Addison was merely three months old. Back then, we had a test series against Namibia in Durban. Going back to training was tough to start but I’m used to hard work. The only hard thing really was training on no sleep,  but if I would have not trained because I was tired, then I would never have trained at all!


Related Articles: