The measure of a person can always been seen by the comments people around them make when they are not there - and more importantly, by the actions of those who have been impacted by them when they are out of sight.
On the 18th of January 2013 Greg Beling suffered a major heart attack whilst on training camp with the South African Women’s Hockey team. This has left him in a coma for some time now and as a result his medical cover has finally run out.
The SA women’s Hockey team flew 9,600 km, played four matches; climbed on a plane, flew another 500 km; got straight on to a waiting bus to take them to an event. This event was a charity coaching clinic held at Wimbeldon Hockey - not one that was organised for them, but one that as a team they had decided to run themselves to raise money for Greg.
This was their only ‘down time’ as they prepared to play the World Championships in London, but they wanted to run this event for Greg. This speaks of the man and what he has contributed to the team and to Hockey in general. The team’s enthusiasm and dedication shone through and is a testament to them and to Greg’s input. They could have slouched around but they gave it their all. This was about the kids and equipping the next generation, but it was also about Greg and raising money for him.
Greg has coached since ‘forever’ and is an icon of South African Hockey. Greg, as well as coaching the Senior Women’s South African team is also one of the coaches for the South African u21 Women’s hockey team, he also coached and was a valuable member at Wimbledon Hockey club in England, he coaches Clarendon Girls High School first team as well as being the Vice President of the Border Hockey Association and is actively involved with all the Border hockey.
His passion and energy has guided and inspired many a career and this is clearly demonstrated in the support from the players. When we spoke to member of the current South African Women’s Hockey squad, there was a genuine intake of breath and the comment, “where do we start? He has this enthusiasm that is contagious and he would always know if you weren’t ok, he cared about the athlete as a person”.
There is a tangible fondness for Greg, who seems legendary in all he has done for Hockey from grassroots up as well as the selfless giving of his time. A true hero, an unsung hero.
So we wish Greg all the very best and “sterkte” to both him and his family. He has influenced many a Hockey player and the current South African Women’s Hockey team. People like this are priceless.