Hockey challenge is hotting up

2018-03-27 06:01
Pictured before training are vice captain Chantel Botes, with captain Chrizelda Delport, who both play upfront for their team, Kuswag.PHOTO: Supplied

Pictured before training are vice captain Chantel Botes, with captain Chrizelda Delport, who both play upfront for their team, Kuswag.PHOTO: Supplied

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EIGHT schools will be converging on the three Schools Trust Astroturf to participate in the Durban South Regional tourney of the Spar KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on March 25.

The host school is one-time winner, Kuswag Hoërskool. Kuswag took the honours in the inaugural tournament in 2011 and the team are eager to topple defending champions Amanzimtoti High School. In their first outing to the grand finals, Kuswag finished ninth overall in the KZN Spar tournament.

Toti have represented this region for the past three consecutive years, advancing through to the grand finals where they finished 10th overall in all three appearances. This year, the defending champs start an exciting new chapter and will be taking to the turf under the guidance of new coach Cris Clarke.

In last year’s regionals, it was anyone’s trophy, with an epic Amanzimtoti three-way duel developing between Amanzimtoti, Kingsway and Kuswag, with Toti knocking in one goal against Kuswag to claim the 2017 victory.

In the build-up to this year’s tournament, Kingsway and Kuswag stretched their legs at the Scottburgh Festival held two weekends ago.

Kuswag drew in all three of their games, and Kingsway faired marginally better with two 0-0 draws and one victory against Scottburgh.

Taking to the field for this regional tourney, Pool A consists of Kuswag, together with Amanzimtoti, Grosvenor and Rossburgh.

In Pool B are Werda, Kingsway, Queensburgh and New Forest.

The games are 23 minutes long with a one-minute change over at half time.

Once the pool games are concluded, the tournament advances to a cross pool playoff, with the two semi-finals taking place. Once the semis are done and dusted, the third and fourth positions will be played for, with the main game taking place mid-afternoon.

The Durban South Regional is one of the most festive tournaments in the KZN area, with all teams showing off not only their hockey skills but dance skills too, taking to the pitch for a dance-off in flash mob style in previous years.

Encouraging everyone to bring their A game to the regionals on the day, the tournament also awards the most promising umpire.

Scouts for Varsity College also travel around to all 10 regionals tournaments, and at the grand finals, award hockey bursaries.

Last year, the Durban South player Phiwo Myeza, who was the 2017 captain for Amanzimtoti High School, was one of the recipients of this bursary.

The winner of the Durban South Regional tourney will be the fifth team to secure their spot at the grand finals, which take place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof at the end of July.

Teams that have already secured their place are Ferrum Hoërskool from the Northern KZN region, newcomer Epworth School from PMB Central region, St Anne’s Diocesan from PMB Northern region and the winning team from the Durban Central region, which took place on March 17.

• For more information, visit the tournament’s Facebook page.


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