Face To Face With Sinead Cockcroft

Chisipite Senior School’s games captain, Sinead Cockcroft talks to Frontrowzim.com about her experience as Zimbabwe captain at the first Fina Junior World Championships that took place in Perth, Australia. Sinead who was also part of the national girls hockey side that travelled to South Africa in August tells us of her aspirations and shares her opinion on discipline in schools sport.

Sinead Cockcroft
Sinead Cockcroft (in green) during the Golden Girls Tournament final. Chisipite won 1-0.

Frontrowzim.com: Tell me more about yourself and your family.
Sinead: My name is Sinead Amy Cockcroft. I was born on 23 November 1995. I am a member of a family of four, myself, my sister, my father and mother.
Frontrowzim.com: What do hockey and water-polo mean to you?
Sinead: I have been playing hockey since I was 8-years-old and water polo since I was 13-years-old. I enjoy the vibe of being part of a team and having to work with other people
Frontrowzim.com: What would you say have been the most memorable moments playing these two sports at high school?
Sinead: Best water polo memory would have to be competing in the first Fina Junior World Waterpolo Championships which were held in Perth, Australia at the end of last year. Fondest hockey moments include being a part of two Chisipite hockey teams to win Golden Girls, in 2011 and 2013. Especially this year as I captained the side.
Frontrowzim.com: You have a knack for leadership, Zim U18 Water polo captain, Zim U18 Hockey vice-captain, Chisipite games and hockey captain. What sets you apart from everyone else?
Sinead: It’s not necessarily that I am set apart from people, but I love working with people and have always wanted to lead from the top. So I guess I am very fortunate that I was given the opportunity on so many occasions.
Frontrowzim.com: High school sport is coming to an end for you, what do you intend to do after school?
Sinead: I hope to study in Australia next year and wish to continue playing both hockey and water polo for the university I attend.
Frontrowzim.com: After enjoying a successful hockey season, which you topped-off with the Golden Girls trophy, don’t you feel pressured to perform again during the upcoming water-polo season?
Sinead: I am looking forward to the upcoming (water) polo season because I am confident that our Chisi (Chisipite Senior School) team will do their best throughout the term and hopefully come away with the Players Shield.
Frontrowzim.com: Zimbabwe didn’t do quite well at the championships in Perth? How did you take that as the captain?
Sinead: Before heading off to Perth we were not expecting to come within the top few teams at all. We knew that Russia and Greece, who are both defending world champions, were in our pool. We went to Perth to gain experience from playing against international sides from all over the world. I feel that the team took our defeats well, even though it is not fun when you lose 36-2 to Greece! I tried my best to keep the girls’ heads “held” high for the rest of the games that followed.
Frontrowzim.com: Is there anything that you think you could have done differently for a better result? (in Perth)
Sinead: I feel that the one game that could have been improved which would have made a difference, would have been our first game which was against South Africa. We started off the game very well and managed to hold South Africa at 1-0, them having the one goal. After the second chukka (a period of play in polo) things seemed to go wrong and we ended up losing. If we had won that game our ranking in the end would have been better.
Frontrowzim.com: Playing for a national side is never an easy task with the travelling and all. How do you maintain a balance between your academics and sport?

Sinead Cockcroft playing Waterpolo
Sinead in action for Team Zimbabwe in Perth, Australia

Sinead: Maintaining a balance is always tough but I feel as though I manage that pretty well. I always feel as though my academics should come before my sport as they are more important, but I do manage to keep a balance between the two.
Frontrowzim.com: What’s your take on discipline in youth sport? Is it important?
Sinead: Discipline in ALL sport is essential. We play the sport because we love it. This being said, I still feel that we should play sport in a competitive manner.
Frontrowzim.com: Who are your role models in sport?
Sinead: Warwick Smith and Maggie Stephens
Frontrowzim.com: Where do you get the drive to want to succeed?
Sinead: I am a very competitive person and always want to do my best and give my everything. My parents give me a lot of support and I do my best to make them proud.
Frontrowzim.com: Any words you live by?
Sinead: “Give all you’ve got in every game until your games are gone. For when your final game is played the game of life goes on.”