Phillips and McEwan win coveted hockey awards

2012-09-25 00:00

THE Parklane SuperSpar Girls’ Hockey Awards were held at Epworth and served to recognise the outstanding performers this year, both on and off the field.

Paige Phillips of St Anne’s and Heather McEwan of Epworth won the coveted Field Hockey and Indoor Hockey Players of the Year awards, respectively.

KZN School Hockey chairperson Charmaine Koekemoer thanked the sponsors for a very special relationship between girls’ hockey and Parklane SuperSpar, and added thanks to support sponsors Honeydew and 100plus.

“Parklane SuperSpar has assisted girls’ hockey with the following: warm-up tops for all A-League schools first teams, a strikers’ clinic run by national players Wade Paton and Cindy Botha, a goalkeepers’ clinic run by national goalkeeper coach Dave Staniforth, the pre-season tournament, as well as this awards function,” said Koekemoer.

“This is the only function of its kind in South Africa where a school sport structure gives recognition to their players’ achievements,” Koekemoer added.

A special Chairman’s Award was presented to Rianne Botha for her many years’ service to schoolgirls’ hockey. Botha’s contribution at district, provincial and national level for the past 19 years was acknowledged. Included in Botha’s distinguished career was her being first-team coach of Treverton for 19 years, from 1987 to 2006, coaching the KZN Midlands U18 team in 1993 and being a selector at provincial level for the past 19 years, having also selected at national level.

Botha has been instrumental in the organisation for the Joy Watt Tournament for a number of years and has served on the Girls’ Executive Committee for 11 years, from 1991 to 2002. Treverton also honoured Botha by naming their artificial hockey pitch after her.

The guest speaker at the awards dinner was SA hockey Olympian Wade Paton who shared his experience of the London 2012 Olympic Games with the audience and inspired the girls by adding that they must not see hockey training as a chore, but as a privilege.

Provincial U18 captain Heather McEwan thanked primary sponsor Parklane SuperSpar for its support in developing the game, as well as the support sponsors, and added her thanks on behalf of the players to the hockey coaches, umpires, managers, committee, support staff as well as KZN School Hockey chairperson Koekemoer for the sacrifices made during the season.

The awards went to — Most Promising Junior: Natalie Esteves (St John’s); Most Improved: Allison Duff (St John’s); Best Goalkeeper: Michele du Toit (Voortrekker); Best Attacker: Heather McEwan (Epworth); Best Defender: Paige Phillips (St Anne’s); Indoor Player of the Year: Heather McEwan (Epworth); Field Hockey Player of the Year: Paige Phillips (St Anne’s).

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