Busy start to winter hockey season for Riverside

2014-06-12 00:00

THIS month sees another winter hockey season get under way and KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest hockey club, Riverside, are making it count with some important events on their calendar.

It starts on June 16, with the club hosting their mini hockey festival with players coming from around the province to enjoy the game. This year’s edition sees more than 70 teams with players competing at U9, U11 and U13 levels.

Festival organiser Natalie Cryer said, “This is the ideal platform for enthusiastic young players to prove their worth on the pitch, while the festival provides a day out for everyone. This festival is part of our mandate to promote sport, especially hockey, as a healthy and social lifestyle.”

Also at the festival, the Kit for kwaMashu Kids programme is being launched. Sponsored by Varsity College, the initiative asks everyone attending the festival, whether Riverside members or visitors, to bring their old hockey kit for donation to the INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and kwaMashu) Hockey Club.

Riverside chairperson Wayne Phillips, observing that hockey was growing in these areas, encouraged people to support the initiative. “We have had a strong relationship with INK since 2007, and one of the major ways we support them is through the donation of hockey and other sports equipment,” he said.

The project has begun to bear fruit with the INK’s U12 boys’ team selected across all sporting codes to participate at the World Junior Games in Austria, departing on June 17. All kit brought for the project, from shoes and sticks to shin pads, is used by the club’s facilitator, Nathi Ngubane, to recruit another child and offer a youngster a chance in life through playing hockey.

Another Varsity College initiative is the Reach programme and this is launched soon after the festival. This offers top draw training and league match opportunities to Riverside’s squad of more than 120 players aged 12 to 15. A squad will be selected on June 23 to play a series of matches, culminating on August 10. “We have one coach to every eight players and such an environment allows these youngsters to take their game to the next level,” said Derek Field, Riverside’s director of coaching.

The club’s biggest event is the Riverside Elite Club Challenge from June 27 to June 29. This is the country’s only national inter-club tournament and will be graced by current national players busy playing at the World Cup in Holland. Riverside are the defending champions, and last year’s runner up Wanderers, plus Western Province and Kearsney, are playing.

“All these teams have international players and are league champions in their own right. The standard of hockey on show is extremely high and spectators will be in for some thrilling action,” said Phillips.

At the tournament, there will be mini games for players from the Reach programme to expose the youngsters to hockey at a high level.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.