Ryan Julius started playing hockey at the age of 13 when he was asked by Reverend Garry Lawrence to fill a spot in his school’s team - Christian Brothers’ College (CBC) in Table View, Parklands. Today, the soon-to-be-graduate is excelling on the South African hockey team.
After his unexpected entry into the sport, he went on to compete in his first inter-provincial trials, then all the way to the all-star team (comprised of only the top 15 SA players in the under-13 age group). From there he continued to rise in the hockey ranks, qualifying in different divisions of the SA team. At the age of 20, he made the provincial team and represented his country at the Junior World Cup in India.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Ryan excels in both indoor and outdoor hockey. For the latter, he represented SA in the National Men’s team, and for indoor, he is set to participate in Berlin, Germany for the Indoor World Cup. He is also interested in playing for the UWC hockey team again (not just in the USSA competition), which he reckons will happen soon at the upcoming University Sports South Africa (USSA) competitions.
Ryan believes that sport is an integral part of one’s growth.
“I have been privileged to play for my country,” he says. “But the one thing I truly love about this sport is teamwork.”
The stellar hockey player has been giving back to the campus community, coaching students who are interested in the sport he loves. He hopes that in due time the University will invest more in hockey, and that more students will join the team.
The UWC BCom General student doesn’t always have time for classes - he tours a lot so sometimes he does his essays and online tests on the road, but he attends extra lectures when he gets back sometimes.
“I believe that UWC has one of the best business faculties - that is one of the factors that drew me here,” he says.
Sport And Life: A Bright Future
He’s looking forward to graduating with his BCom degree and starting his first job - he enjoys the business side of the world, and is quite fascinated with the financial and stock exchange side of things.
As far as hockey goes, he has a few opportunities lined up overseas - and he continues to work hard to participate in international competitions for the national team. He is currently going through a selection process for two upcoming national competitions; first the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April; and then for the outdoor World Cup in India in December.
“One should always work hard, even when feeling lazy,” he advises. “That’s the best way to stay ahead and widen the gap between those who choose to rest when there’s work to be done.”
Ryan’s efforts are supported by his sport-driven family and friends, many of whom have been with him since his first entry into the sport. The coaches who have elevated his love for the game include Mr Warren Wallace, Bruce Jacobs and Mark Hopkins, to name a few.
“For introducing me to the game I love today, I am extremely grateful to Reverend Garry Lawrence,” he says. “My life would have been very different if not for him.”
PLAYER FACTS Ryan Julius
Full name: Ryan Julius
Born: 19/7/1995 in Cape Town
High school: Diocesan College Bishops (Matric 2013)
Tertiary education: UWC 2015- (BCom majoring in Industrial Psychology)
Representative teams: SA (2016- / 2017 Africa Cup of Nations2018 Commonwealth Games), SA Indoor (2016-18 / Africa Indoor Cup of Nations, 2018 Indoor World Cup), SA Under-21 (2016)