Kensington teen Raees Baker dreams of one day playing ice hockey at international level, and his first step towards this is to raise funds for a tournament in Mexico.
The 16-year-old lives for the sport and spends hours on the ice; the ice hockey bug has also bitten his 12-year-old cousin Imaad.
“For my 10h birthday, we went to the ice rink at GrandWest and I saw the poster for ice hockey and it was something I really wanted to try.
“After a few practices, I just loved it because it was fast and you get to play with a stick which I really enjoy,” says Raees.
“I would love to be able to play for my country and I am really excited about the chance to go to Mexico and take part in the tournament.”
The eight-nation U20 tournament in Queretaro takes place on January 8-15, and Raees will play the defenseman.
His sister Lamees said: “Since he started playing for the Penguins in the Western Province league, Raees has always won awards and he plays in the U18, U20 and senior sides.
“He goes to Settlers High where he also plays basketball and field hockey, so he is always busy.
“Every day we have to take him to the rink to practise from 5am and then he must still go to school and take part in the other sports.
“He comes home after 6pm, the same time as my mother and his biggest supporter, Faiza Brown.”
Raees’ trip to Mexico will cost R15 000 while he is also in need of a new hockey stick, a new helmet and he has to pay for the national uniform.
To help Raees, visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/raees-baker .