As all the learners around South Africa settle into their school routine, Kwa-Zulu Natal’s first team hockey girls begin to train for this year’s SPAR KZN School Girls Hockey Challenge that kicks off in February.
The regional tournament that travels around Kwa-Zulu Natal to ten hosts schools, has close on 80 first teams participating in the annual tournament with the Grand Finals being held in July in Durban. The Grand Finals that for the last five years were hosted jointly by Thomas More College and St Mary’s DSG in Kloof will only be hosted by St Mary’s DSG for the conclusion to the 2016 tournament with a new programme for the finals weekend being rolled out.
Joining forces, this year Varsity College have come on-board offering one lucky hockey player a bursary to their institution. “Varsity College is excited to announce a new initiative associated with the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge for 2016, where one deserving young lady will get an opportunity to study a quality IIE Higher Education Qualification through us and of course, get to play premier division hockey in Durban for the Varsity College Hockey Club” enthused a delighted Carole Adam, National Sports Manager from Varsity College.
The bursary is available to any female that participates in the tournament; even though their school may not make it through to the finals they will still be eligible. The bursary will be announced at the finals and Varsity College will notify the chosen recipient before the finals in order for them to attend the prize giving.
“Heading into the sixth year of the tournament, we feel very affirmed at the success of our tournament, it has become a highlight on the schools’ sports fixtures. Due to our success, the tournament has spilled across the borders into other provinces. Adding to the appeal of our hockey challenge, we are excited that Varsity College have come on-board offering this bursary.” stated SPAR’s Managing Director, Rob Philipson.
Kicking off, St Dominics Academy hosts the Northern KZN Regional in Newcastle on 27 February. Pietermaritzburg then hosts the second and third regional on 12 March with Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High hosting the PMB Central Regional and St Anne’s hosting the PMB North Regional; Maris Stella hosts the DBN Central Regional on 13 March. The fifth tournament, the DBN South Regional is hosted by Kingsway High School on 9 April. Danville Girls’ High runs the DBN North Regional on 10 April. St Patricks College in Kokstad welcomes teams for the Southern KZN Regional on 16 April. Grantleigh in Richards Bay hosts the Northern Coastal Regional on 7 May. Hermannsburg will host the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional on the 14 May. The final tournament, the Highway Regional takes place at Thomas More College on the 15 May.
The Grand Finals takes place over the weekend of the 23 and 24 July with the winners of each regional converging on St Mary’s DSG to battle it out on the turf.