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Hockey teams in Tournament

KZN hockey

Ten first girls’ hockey teams from around the province are hard at work training for the SPAR KZN Regional Hockey Tournament grand finals that will be taking place at Thomas More College and St Mary’s DSG on the 26 and 27 July.

Durban Girls Defend Title

Defending champions, Durban Girls’ College are keen to retain the title. The victrīcēs of the Durban Central region have been in the medals for two consecutive years, with silver in the 2012 tournament and gold last year.

The explosive team from Pietermaritzburg who seem to be the bridesmaids but never the brides, Girls’ High School are eager to change this fact and would love a chance to raise the trophy. The champs of the Pietermaritzburg Central region have won silver in the inaugural tournament in 2011 and again last year. The 2012 tournament saw them get bronze.

Another Pietermarizburg team that is sure to impress is St Anne’s College. The Hilton-based school were the champions of the Pietermartizburg North regional and are not unfamiliar with being crowned princesses of the pitch. St Anne’s ignited the tournament with a phenomenal display, winning the inaugural tournament. They came fourth last year and are hoping to return to make more of an impact in the medal categories than they did a year ago.

The new-comer to the finals is Westville Girls’ High School. During the Highway regional, the young team blew away St Mary’s in an enthralling game. St Mary’s DSG with two bronzes and gold in 2012 were outclassed this year by Westville.

Two teams are returning for their second appearances at the grand finals. The feisty team from Kokstad College who played in the 2011 tournament will be representing the Sisonke and Ugu region. The ladies from Kokstad will give the other teams a run for their money with their never say die attitude. Danville Park Girls’ High missed the 2011 and 2013 tournaments but are back. They will be waving the flag for the North Durban region.

The first team to seal their appearance at the grand finals were Ferrum High School from Newcastle. This will be their fourth time to play in the grand finals having dominated the Northern Natal region. Empangeni High School may have been the last regional finalists to secure their place but they are not short on talent. The vibrant, hard-working team from Zululand will be back for the third time.

Durban Girls’ High will also be making a third appearance. The leaders of the Durban South region will be hoping to draw inspiration from their assistant coach, Olympic hockey player and co-captain of the SA Women’s team Lenise Marais, who is fresh off the plane after a lengthy tour in Europe for the World Championships.

Representing the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi region for the second time is Wartburg Kirchdorf High. After the recent addition of the astro turf at Wembley College, the German school will be notching up some hours gaining some valuable skills on the brand new turf ahead of meeting the best of the best in KZN school girls’ hockey.

Tournament Director, Les Galloway commented, “We are in for a cracker of a tournament this year. Four of the teams participating are in the top 50 schools in South Africa according to the SA School Sports hockey rankings so the quality is going to be top notch!”

Another vital ingredient making this tournament such a success is acknowledging the umpires. Ten umpires from around KZN were selected as the Most Promising Umpire at each regional. They have been invited to further their umpiring skills and be graded at the finals. Sarah Wheeler from Greytown High School representing the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi region will be making her fourth appearance at the finals.

Other ‘whistle-blowers’ are Tanya Pepler from St Dominic’s Academy (Northern Natal); Donovan Rothman  from Southcity Christian College (Sisonke and Ugu); Brett Clay from Crawford College North Coast (Durban North); Enza Magubane from Amanzimtoti High School (Durban South); Kylie Ooshuizen from Durban Girls’ College (Durban Central); Vaughn Lees from Thomas More College (Highway); Tarryn Woodroffe from Pietermartizburg Girls’ High (Pietermaritzburg) and Nikki Kelbrick from St John’s (Pietermaritzburg) and Wesley Yngdals from Grantleigh College (Zululand).

MD for SPAR KZN, Rob Philipson said, “I am very enthusiastic with how this tournament has grown, and in such a short space of time. It has developed into a tour de force on the schools calendar.  I look forward to watching the games with the teams duel it out on the pitch. I wish them all luck and the most important thing to remember is that at the end of the day, hockey is the winner!”

Ten teams from around KwaZulu Natal descend on Kloof for the for the grand finals of the SPAR KZN Regional Hockey Tournament on the 26 and 27 July.

Pic by Val Adamson

For more info or to follow the tournament, like the Facebook page SPAR KZN Regional Hockey Tournament or follow on Twitter @SPARGirlsHockey.

Fourth appearance

Ferrum High School – tenth 2013

Pietermaritzburg Girls High School – silver 2013

Durban Girls College – defending champions 2013

Third appearance

Empangeni High School – seventh2013

Durban Girls High School – sixth 2013

St Anne’s College – fourth 2013

Second appearance

Wartburg Kirchdorf High – eighth 2013

Kokstad College – last competed in 2011

Danville High School – last competed in 2012

First Appearance

Westville Girls High School

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