Ahead of an action packed 12 months for the South African Women’s indoor and outdoor hockey sides, Kara Botes has decided to call time on her International career both on the astro and on the indoor courts.
The current Southern Gauteng defender is one of only three players to have amassed more than 50 caps for both indoor hockey and outdoor hockey. Having been schooled at the brilliant Pietermartizburg Girls High, there was hardly doubt that she would make a star of herself on the international stage and started her journey of 79 Indoor Hockey Caps for SPAR South Africa against Namibia back in 2014 and managed to score her first goal in her fourth game. That ratio quickly swung and Botes retires as the second highest goal scorer in South African Indoor Hockey history with 85 scored in her 79 games. A remarkable achievement considering she is primarily a defender. At the 2018 Croatia Indoor Cup, Kara netted five in a then world record 21-0 victory over Slovenia.
Kara’s Indoor Hockey captain, both for her time at the Raiders and with the national team, Cindy Hack was glowing in her praise of Botes:
“I have had the privilege of playing many years with Kara. She has an exceptional ability to read the game and her eye for the pinpoint pass was unrivalled on the court. She had such great tenacity and was always someone that was better to play with than against! Kara was also devastatingly dangerous at penalty corner time and a real weapon in our attack. Thank you for your service to our country and to our game! Good luck for the new endeavors, I have no doubt you will be an immense success!”
Her outdoor career was also a superb one after making her debut in 2016 against Argentina in Bloemfontein and going on to accumulate 53 test caps including playing at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and at the Vitality Hockey World Cup in London. In recent times it has been alongside Erin Christie that she has built a superb understanding at both club, provincial and national teams.
“Kara will be missed in the SA outdoor team. Her flair, deception and creativity are what made her a great player and asset to the team. As a teammate, Kara was always available to everyone and loved picking our brains about the most interesting topics. Although she will deny it, the EXTROVERT in her brought a lot of fun and laughter to us all. We wish Kara all the best and happiness on her next adventure and no doubt it’ll be a successful one.”
Marissa Langeni, the CEO of SA Hockey shared her thoughts as well:
"An extraordinary talent whether playing indoor hockey or outdoor. Kara's utmost dedication to the green & gold was rewarded by a stellar career and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for representing South Africa over the years."
As Kara leaves a massive gap on the hockey field, we know she will be smashing it in the business world with that same flair!