St. Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival returns for 18th edition

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St Mary’s School (Waverley), in partnership with Investec, will be hosting the 18th St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 April.

The festival is South Africa’s premier tournament for girls’ high school hockey teams from across Southern Africa. The event is hosted primarily at St Mary’s but also on the Kingsmead College and Roedean School AstroTurf hockey fields. The event culminates with the final at St Mary’s School on Sunday 9 April, starting at 18h15.

Hockey fans should prepare to be inspired at this year’s St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival as the four-day event will again see brilliant hockey being played in front of a crowd of over 3,000 fervent school and hockey supporters.

“This annual gathering of South African school girl hockey talent has delivered wonderful, exciting and fast-paced hockey over the past few years and we expect the same from the 32 participating teams this year,” said Ros Howell, deputy headmistress at St Mary’s and a former national women’s team player, captain and coach.

The St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival provides a platform for young women hockey players to really show off their skills and test themselves early in the season against the best the country has to offer.

From previous festivals, 38 girls have gone on to represent the senior national women’s team, mostly at the Olympics, FIH World Cups and Commonwealth Games. Some of the current national women’s squad will be visiting the event on Friday 7 April to meet the players and fans and sign autographs.

“I grew up playing and learning my hockey on this AstroTurf” said Shelley Jones (née Russell), current national team stalwart and Investec Academy representative. “And the St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival was always the highlight of our season.”

St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival opening day

Investec has been involved as a sponsor since 2008. The tournament has attracted some of the best hockey talent around the country in the 14 to 19 year old age group.

In 2016, for every goal scored at the festival, Investec sent a child from the rural areas on a coaching for conservation rapid awareness programme (443 goals were scored).

This year, Investec Rhino Life Line  will be supporting the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) and have pledged to donate R200 for every goal scored to the HESC. Over the past four years, Investec and St Mary’s have contributed R180 000 to the plight of the rhino in South Africa through the festival.

Thirty-two teams from around South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia will be competing in four days of fast-paced hockey. A full list of the fixtures can be found here and the competing teams are as follows:

  • Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof
  • Brescia House School
  • C & N Sekondêre Meisieskool Oranje (OMS)
  • Clarendon High School for Girls
  • Collegiate Girls’ High School
  • Die Hoërskool Menlopark
  • Durban Girls’ College
  • Eunice High School
  • Hoërskool DF Malan
  • Hoërskool Garsfontein
  • Hoërskool Waterkloof
  • Kingsmead College
  • Kingswood College
  • Our Lady of Fatima DCS
  • Paarl Gimnasium
  • Pearson High School
  • Penryn College
  • Peterhouse Girls
  • Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School
  • Pretoria High School for Girls
  • Roedean School (SA)
  • Somerset College
  • St Andrew’s School for Girls
  • St Anne’s Diocesan College
  • St John’s DSG
  • St Mary’s DSG, Pretoria
  • St Mary’s DSG, Kloof
  • St Mary’s School, Waverley 1st XI
  • St Mary’s School, Waverley Festival XI
  • St Stithians Girls’ College
  • The Wykeham Collegiate
  • Windhoek High School
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