School Sport: Hockey
A spot in the provincial finals is at stake when the South Western Districts schools clash in the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge in George on Saturday. The tournament at York High is the penultimate in the series of events to decide the provincial winners, with three schools having already sealed their berths in the main finals at Woodridge, near Port Elizabeth, on August 12. The qualifiers, so far, are Union High (PE Inland), Kingsridge (Border Inland) and Clarendon (Border Coastal). Now five SWD schools will put their reputations on the line in the next qualifying event as hosts York aim to defend the title they won last year.
York director of sport Jason Slater said they were looking forward to another well-contested tournament with some of the top sides in the region targeting the title. “York will definitely be among the favourites, but I have no doubt there will be good competition on the day because all the teams will be motivated to reach the finals,” he said. “You cannot write off teams like Outeniqua and Point, while Oudtshoorn High and Glenwood House will also be in the reckoning.”
Slater said they were ready to provide a memorable occasion for the players. “We have a top-class hockey astro facility at York and everything is set for another good day of schoolgirls’ competition.” He added that the teams would play a round-robin format to decide the play-off contestants.
“The two teams with the most points will contest the final, while there will also be a play-off between the third and fourth-placed sides.” Registration is at 8am and play will get under way at 9am. The final is scheduled to take place at 1.30pm.
SPAR Eastern Cape promotions and advertising manager Alan Stapleton said they were pleased to take this challenge to the South Western Districts. “It is really good to have these schools on board and we look forward to this chance to interact with the local community,” he said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to encourage a healthy lifestyle and to provide some support to our young consumers.
“There has been some terrific hockey as well as a lot of fun in the first three tournaments and we are sure the vibe will be the same this weekend.” The final regional tournament will be the PE Coastal play-offs to be held at Pearson in Port Elizabeth on June 4.