Best turnout ever for mini hockey fest

2014-06-19 00:00

IT was rather appropriate that Riverside Sports Club in Durban North hosted 750 children, aged between six and 13, in the annual Riverside Festival of Mini Hockey on Youth Day, June 16.

Recognised as the province’s biggest mini hockey event, there were 91 teams participating, the best ever turnout, with sides from Northwood Crusaders, Riverside, Kearsney and North Coast Hockey Club in attendance, among others.

For the North Coast club, this was their first visit and they had to be impressed by the magnitude of the occasion and the response to the game from fellow young players.

Many provincial and former national players were in attendance, assisting with coaching and sharing the finer points of the game on the day which started at 9 am and included close to 200, six-a-side matches as the day progressed.

It was all about playing hockey, with no winners recognised. The emphasis was on Riverside’s mantra of “Pure Hockey Enjoyment” as families, friends and players soaked up the skill on offer and atmosphere of the game.

As a club, Riverside strongly supports a philosophy that it’s about the game, developing a universal winning culture among participants and sports people in general, thereby nullifying the win-at-all-costs approach that many of the youngsters are exposed to.

Besides the children getting outdoors, enjoying the exercise and playing hockey, another highlight of the day was the Kit for KwaMashu Kids initiative, where those at the festival were encouraged to bring and donate used hockey kit for the INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu) Hockey Club, whose U12 boys’ side left for the World Junior Games in Austria on Tuesday.

Riverside Hockey Club chairperson Wayne Phillips was more than happy with how the day had progressed and had no second thoughts on his highlight. “Yes, the response and turnout was great but for me, the magical moment was seeing the INK Club youngsters taking the field in shoes donated to them through the Kit for KwaMashu Kids initiative,” he said. “As a club, we thank everyone who responded and supported the programme.”

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