University of Johannesburg hockey star Taylor Dart says he has learnt from experiencing setbacks in his career to make his way to the top of the sport.
The 27-year-old South African player is focused on making the national team for next year’s Tokyo Olympics after completing his masters in architecture this year and being named the UJ Sportsman of the Year.
He said his career had developed after he realised how to handle the hard bumps in life.
“There were many times where I failed and it was so hard to continue,” said Dart. “But by focusing on myself and putting all the control in my hands it helped me to realise that it’s okay to have setbacks.
“They do not determine who you are. Everyone has setbacks, but the key issue is to be able to learn from those moments.”
Although he said there was some inconsistency this year, there were also many special and rewarding memories.
“From helping South Africa to qualify for the Olympics to finishing my final exam, I’m really blessed,” he said.
“I set myself small goals each week, which would help me to achieve larger goals that I set at the beginning of the year.
“These were to cement myself within the national hockey setup, to help SA qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and to finish my masters in architecture.”
Winning the Sportsman of the Year award for the first time was a major thrill for Dart.
“I’m very lucky to have won and I’m just so grateful at the same time.”
His journey through university life has also played a significant part in his success.
“I would not have been able to achieve everything I have without the input from so many great individuals within this institution,” acknowledged Dart. “From the sports side to the academics, it’s been maybe the best period of my life so far.”