U18 Regional Hockey tourney

2011-03-15 00:00

THERE is a busy Saturday ahead for local players when the Spar Unilever Schools’ U18 Regional Hockey Tournaments take place in Wartburg and Pietermaritzburg.

Three tournaments will be held for schools in the midlands, with Tournament Four, for schools in the Umvoti and Othukela district, being hosted by Wartburg.

Tournament Nine (PMB Central) and Tournament 10 (PMB North) are hosted by Epworth, with the Epworth and University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) artificial surfaces being used.

The traditional Parklane SuperSpar champions from schools in the Pietermaritzburg area will be crowned when the winners of PMB Central and PMB North take each other on in the tournament winners’ playoff, which is the highlight of Saturday’s action at UKZN.

Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School (GHS) were the Parklane winners last year and will be defending their title in the face of some fierce opposition.

The winning school from each of the three tournaments will go through to the KZN provincial champion of champions finals competition that will be held on July 24 at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof, when the winners of all 10 regional tournaments will face off against each other.

No fewer than 77 schools are participating in this the inaugural Spar KZN U18 regional tournament.

“It is fantastic for the growth of hockey that the tournament incorporates all standards of the game,” Spar KZN marketing director Neil Westerhof told The Witness yesterday.

“The up-and-coming players have the opportunity to play against the more accomplished players and we hope that this new tournament on the KZN schoolgirls’ hockey calendar boosts the talent that we have in the province. It ties in with Spar’s philosophy that the development of sport is the basis of a healthier lifestyle.

“The concept is based on the successful tournament that has been held in Pietermaritzburg for the past nine years and sponsored by Parklane SuperSpar since 2006,” KZN Schools’ chairperson Charmaine Koekemoer told The Witness yesterday.

“We are very pleased that the tournaments are reaching all the areas in our province, creating an awareness of the talent in the outlying areas. It is a first-team tournament, so we look forward to a fast-paced competitive competition.”

With regional tournaments having already taken place in northern KwaZulu-Natal (February 26) on the north coast and south coast, and in East Griqualand (March 12), Saturday heralds the KwaZulu-Natal midlands’ three tournaments plus the remaining four tournaments in Durban and Kloof.

Saturday’s Tournament Four for the Umvoti and Othukela regions includes hosts Wartburg plus Greytown, Hermannsburg, Domino Servite, Estcourt, Est­court CS, Ladysmith and Wembley College.

Saturday’s Tournament Nine at Epworth and UKZN (for Hilton and PMB North) includes St Anne’s, Voortrekker, Carter, Howick, Grace College, Heritage Academy and The Wykeham Collegiate.

Saturday’s Tournament 10 at Epworth and UKZN (for PMB Central) includes Epworth, GHS, St John’s, Alexandra, Maritzburg Christian School and Treverton.

Matches at all the venues are expected to start at 8.30 am and continue throughout the day to the finals at around 3.30 pm.

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