Hockey festival shows veterans still have the skills

2013-05-03 00:00

THE three-day Time Freight SA Masters hockey tournament kicked off in Pietermaritzburg yesterday with over 1 000 men’s and women’s players aged 35 and older revealing that while their bodies may now be a little unreliable, the skills honed over many years are still there.

There were some great matches amongst the dozens of clashes that took place at the nine venues all over the KZN capital city, but more importantly it gave players and provincial teams from all parts of the country as well as Zimbabwe and Namibia the opportunity to renew old acquaintances and swop memorable stories of yesteryear.

The three days of fun and friendship is in keeping with the gathering’s reputation as one of the biggest and most popular hockey events of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The 66 teams (43 men’s sides and 23 women’s squads) play in a festival format, with only the Colts section having a proper competition that will result in winners of the men’s and women’s Colts (age 35 to 40) events being named late on Saturday afternoon. Some 170 matches are being staged over the three days at The Wykeham Collegiate, Epworth, St John’s, the University of KZN Greenfields Turf as well as their grass pitches, the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf, Hilton College, PMB Girls’ High School, Maritzburg College and Collegians Club.

In the Colts men’s and women’s divisions, the star-studded KZN Colts men’s side — a number of whom are prominent former SA players — edged out the strong EP Colts side 2-1 in a cracker of a match which revealed glimpses of the skills that made these players into stars of the game when they were in their prime.

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