Sterre Van Ede’s candid ardor only makes her seem more confident as she sits outside in the Colorado Academy sculpture garden. “I’m hoping going abroad will help me decide what I want to major in,” she says. “I want to decide what I want to study or do with my life because I have no idea. It changes every day.”

Uncertainty is a rare adjective used to describe the field hockey star, whose commitment and attention to detail, says varsity field hockey coach Veronica Scott, inspires teammates both on and off the field. But sitting in the sun on a fall day on campus, last season’s CHSAANow.com Player of the Year isn’t talking about field hockey. She’s talking about travel. Well, that and a bit of field hockey.

Van Ede, who has played the past four seasons at Colorado Academy and helped lead the team to its three consecutive state field hockey titles, has made big decisions as ofSterreVanEde-ColoradoAcademy late. She’s not going to college. Or, rather, she’s not going right away.

Instead, on November 12, the senior will sign her letter of intent committing to play Division I field hockey at the University of California, Berkeley, after a gap year. Her first year out of high school will find her in the Netherlands.

“Field hockey is really big there,” she says, “and my dad was on the men’s national team, so I’m going to play at his old club for a few months.”

Her father, Pieter Van Ede, a former Dutch national field hockey player, played for the Netherlands in the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona, losing to Australia in the semi-finals. She says that he’s the one who pushed her to perform at her best in the sport, which is why she’s going to the Netherlands to play.

“It’s the field hockey capital of world. I want to take that time to really brush up on skills and get better and get more experience with higher level of field hockey before I go to college.”

Another thing she wants to do before officially becoming a Berkeley Cal Bear? Volunteer in developmental programs in Africa or India. Says the senior, who has traveled to Senegal with CA’s Travel and Exchange program, as well as South Africa, and all over Europe, “Sometimes I feel stuck in a bubble. I really want to go off and see the world, as clichéd as that sounds.”


“The sport just comes really naturally to me. It’s the first thing where I don’t have to think about anything and it’s given me a lot of confidence, especially because it’s a sport and a lot of times men are the ones who excel at sports. In those countries where women’s rights are not as strong, I feel like it’s such a great way to give those girls confidence and give them another option to have a voice.”


Her decision to combine that with field hockey, however, is more altruistic than strategic. One program she’s considering in Cape Town, South Africa would have her helping children play field hockey in school. Another in Goa, India, would see her teaching equal parts English and field hockey.

“The sport just comes really naturally to me. It’s the first thing where I don’t have to think about anything and it’s given me a lot of confidence, especially because it’s a sport and a lot of times men are the ones who excel at sports. In those countries where women’s rights are not as strong, I feel like it’s such a great way to give those girls confidence and give them another option to have a voice.”

As she looks with bright eyes toward her future—possibly considering a major in international relations—the tall blonde becomes visibly sad when reflecting on leaving her team; the one she calls “family” and a “major support group.” Of the CA field hockey team, which just became state champions for the third year (for a total of 53 consecutive wins), Van Ede says her favorite memories have been on the field, particularly competing in state championships.

For those who coach and play along side Van Ede, they know passion and commitment will surely guide her to greater things still. “Many players at her level and caliber may have just settled where they are—being one of the best in the state—but Sterre always seeks to improve,” says Coach Scott, “and that impresses me.”