Nonhlanhla Mtolo, who is also known as Nonnie in South African hockey circles, started volunteering in 2016 and in that time has become an expert in both team management skills and the demands of being a tournament Technical Official.
The South African started her volunteering career in 2016 when she was a judge for the Varsity Hockey tournament at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, universally known as ‘Wits’.
This bi-annual hockey event, which features the top eight university hockey sides in the country, is a true showcase of university hockey in South Africa. A huge number of varsity hockey alumni going on to represent South Africa on the international stage. The event provided a big platform on which Nonhlanhla started her volunteering journey.
Following the Wits event, Nonhlanhla took up a role as the U14 D Southern Gauteng Schools Team Manager, organising and caring for the young players in the provincial hockey calendar of events. She undertook this responsibility for two seasons – 2016 and 2017 – before taking her considerable organisational skills into team manager roles with the U16s, the U18s and the Southern Gauteng Women’s Indoor Team.
While continuing with her volunteering roles on the domestic hockey scene, Nonhlanhla has also made the step into international volunteering. She was Ball Patrol Manager at the FIH World Hockey League finals in Johannesburg in 2017 – a crucial job that involves managing the team of youngsters who ensure the game runs smoothly and without delay.
She has continued to manage ball patrol teams at the Premier Hockey League in South Africa every year since.
Nonhlanhla’s big break came in 2018 when she was appointed Technical Official for the U21 Inter Provincial Tournament. It was a role she repeated for the African Youth Games in Algeria. In 2019, she was Technical Official for the South Africa v Namibia series and in 2020, for the South Africa v Germany series.
Talking about her dual volunteering career as a Team Manager and Technical Official, Nonhlanhla says: “I am passionate about both aspects of the game and feel really privileged to be able to do both. I've been lucky enough to learn from one of the greats, Josie Milella. The experience and passion she has for the game is immeasurable and she definitely someone I look up to and feel honoured to work with."