Regionals of girls’ hockey tournament in Pietermaritzburg

2013-03-07 00:00

THE 2013 Spar aQuellé School Girls’ Hockey Tournament Pietermaritzburg and Northern PMB regionals will take place at Epworth and Carter high schools on March 9.

This is the third year that the tournament is being held since its inception in 2011. The defending champions, Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School, are hoping to make it a hat-trick in appearances at the finals, as they go into the regionals as favourites.

Last year’s winners of the northern region, The Wykeham Collegiate, prepare to battle it out against a strong line-up of teams that are all wanting to make it through to the top 10 schools in the finals at Thomas More and St Mary’s in July.

The tournament is the vision of Les Galloway, the former SA women’s hockey manager, who said: “Regional derbies have been a part of the schoolgirls’ hockey calendar for years, but there was no incentive to go further for the teams. Now this tournament gives the teams a challenge to achieve, advancing to the finals, where they get to play some fantastic hockey.

“There are more children playing better hockey. The overall standard has improved. This in turn improves the standard of KZN Hockey. This is borne out by the outstanding results achieved by the province in 2012. The tournament recognising upcoming umpires also means that they are now being sent to national tournaments,” said Galloway.

The regionals have already been played in Dundee (Northern KZN) and Port Shepstone (Sisonke and Ugu), with defending champions for both regions, Ferrum High and Creston making it through to the finals. This weekend, the Durban South and Central regionals will be played in the Durban area. Still to come are regionals in Richards Bay (North Coastals), Durban (North and Highway) and Wartburg (Umvoti).

Managing director for Spar KZN, Rob Philipson said: “We set out to make this tournament a vibrant, festive yet competitive event ... The schools look forward to the regionals’ play-offs with the hope of going through to the finals.”

The tournament has a Facebook page — SPAR aQuellé School Girls’ Hockey Tournament and a Twitter account — @SPARGirlsHockey. Spectators and players are encouraged to visit the page and check out all the action from the regionals.

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