Home Sport ‘An exceptional hockey player’ – MEC pays tribute to Ally

‘An exceptional hockey player’ – MEC pays tribute to Ally

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“It was ironic that Allistar’s final call came in the month that South Africa commemorates Youth Month.”

NORTHERN Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Desery Fienies, paid tribute to Allistar Fredericks, the former Olympian and national SA Hockey Association executive board member who passed away in Johannesburg this week.

A statement from Fienies’ office said she received the news with “great shock and sadness”.

Fredericks was a former national hockey player and in 1996 he was among the players who represented the country’s at the Atlanta Olympic Games in America.

Fienies said Fredericks was “an exceptional hockey player. He had skills which many players could only dream of. He was undoubtedly one of the most skillful players that had ever set foot on a hockey field. He was born and raised in one of the smallest communities in Kimberley, Colville Extension”.

Fredericks’ hockey career started with the junior team at William Pescod Hockey Club which was the foundation of his phenomenal career. From there he went on to represent the South Africa Council of Sport (SACOS) Under-16 and senior teams.

He was also a regular member of the South African senior schools team. These achievements were before the unification of hockey in 1990. Fredericks went on to be selected for the South African B Team and did a tour of Namibia in 1993 and thereby ultimately achieved his dream of being selected to the South African national hockey team.

He was the first non-white hockey player to be selected to the South African Men’s National Hockey Team that participated at the 1994 World Cup in Australia and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as well as the 1998 CommonWealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

However, it was ironic that Allistar’s final call came in the month that South Africa commemorates Youth Month. He was instrumental in providing talented young hockey players from previously disadvantaged areas with hockey scholarships to further their schooling career at Beaulieu College of Education, an Independent Examination Board School through the Allistar Fredericks Hockey Trust .

The players, mainly recruited from Kimberley, East London and Gqheberha (Port Elizabeth), were provided with the opportunity to be trained by world class coaches and playing facilities.

Many of them went on to achieve national team colours in their respective age groups with the latest addition being Aiden Tun who hails from Kimberley. Tun is now a member of the National Indoor Hockey team as well as the South African Under-21 team.

Not only did he excel in hockey but he was a phenomenal swimmer and rugby player. He achieved Griqualand West colours in both these sporting codes.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture extends its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Fredericks family, friends and the entire hockey fraternity.

His brother Marcus said in his tribute that Allister started his hockey career when Marcus started playing the sport at William Pescod High in 1980. “I introduced him to the game by giving him the root of a small tree shaped into a hockey stick. I made him tackle me for practice. Soon he started junior hockey for Pescod where his talent was evident from the onset.

He worked for a short stint at De Beers mine as a technician and whilst there undertook the trip to Namibia with the SA B hockey side in 1993. He later joined the University of Pretoria who afforded him space time to attend to his hockey career which included the World Cup.

Fredericks is survived by his widow Nicky, sons Keagan and Tristan and Taylor his daughter.

The family has not announced any funeral details yet.