Young players benefit from sports festival run by Wykeham

2014-04-01 00:00

THE Wykeham Collegiate hosted yet another successful U13 sports festival. This is the third festival run by TWC and it is growing in popularity every year.

The 2014 festival featured more than 270 participants from schools all over KwaZulu-Natal, who travelled to Pietermaritzburg to take part in what proved to be an extremely positive sports festival, enhancing the keen young sports players’ knowledge of their chosen sports code.

The schools that attended were Clifton Preparatory, Chelsea Preparatory, Cowan House, Northlands Primary, Grantleigh, Huttonpark Primary, Maris Stella, St Dominic’s Academy, Newcastle, Penzance Primary, St Mary’s Kloof, St Patrick’s College, TWC, Westville Primary and Virginia Preparatory, reflecting a healthy interest from Durban schools in particular.

The festival’s core input focused on developing key basic ball skills, structure, coaching of coaches, teamwork and team play.

So many sports players — and not only in South Africa — are often stumped by their misunderstanding of what is required to become an accomplished sportsperson and to this end South Africa’s current top-graded International Hockey Federation (FIH) umpire Michelle Joubert, who has umpired at the highest levels, including the London 2012 Olympic Games, was brought in as one of the coaching advisers.

Joubert, who has seen first-hand how the world’s best go about their business at major tournaments, challenged coaches throughout the weekend with her experience in the latest developments in individual and team training, using new scientific methods of neuroscience applied to training in sport.

“This festival enables coaches to discuss and share their own ideas about their respective sport, and thus built a positive coaching framework for the development of players and coaches,” said festival organiser Binks Robertson, herself a noted former provincial player, as well as a current international umpire who officiated in the February Test series at Tshwane University of Technology stadium between Scotland and the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team.

The netball section was run by top netball coach Di Bodley and provincial player Michelle Segal. The hockey was run under provincial coach Robertson’s eagle eye.

The TWC first team members were tasked with leading one of the junior school teams through mentoring and coaching the young players, as well as in umpiring the matches, which, along with the advice of seasoned coaches and personalities such as Joubert, added to their own understanding of what it takes to advance up the competitive ladder in their respective sports codes.

The Most Spirited Team Trophy was handed to Clifton.

Girls identified by coaching advisers for showing promising talent throughout the festival were Gabrielle Samuel (Northlands), Hannah Durow (TWC) and Allison de Lange (Chelsea Preparatory) in netball, and Georgie Harries (TWC), Camryn Benade (Westville), Caroline Wenke (Maris Stella) and Bibi Mzimela (Penzance) in hockey.

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