Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SA hockey stars shine on world stage

Hockey never gets much of a plug in South Africa but two of our players have managed to qualify for the Men’s and women’s World All Star teams which is a fantastic achievement considering that hockey is an amateur sport in this country.

Congratulations to the SA Men’s captain Austin Smith, and joint women’s captain Marsha Marescia who were chosen by global voting on the official world hockey website.

The full teams are below:

Men’s and women’s World All Star teams

Men: Salman Akbar (PAK),Pol Amat (ESP), Simon Child (NZL), Jamie Dwyer (AUS), Moritz Furste (GER), Myung Ho Lee (KOR), Ashley Jackson (ENG), Mark Knowles (AUS), Barry Middleton (ENG), Maximilian Muller (GER), Teun de Nooijer (NED), Eddie Ockenden (AUS), Jong Ho Seo (KOR), Rob Short (CAN), Prabhjot Singh (IND), Austin Smith (RSA), Taeke Taekema (NED), Christopher Zeller (GER). Coaches: Ric Charlesworth (AUS) & Markus Weise (GER)

Women: Naomi van As (NED), Luciana Aymar (ARG), Tina Bachmann (GER), Noel Barrionuevo (ARG), Madonna Blyth (AUS). Tony Cronk (AUS), Casey Eastham (AUS), Gemma Flynn (NZL), Baorong Fu (CHN), Surinder Kaur (IND), Natascha Keller (GER), Yibo Ma (CHN), Marsha Marescia (RSA), Miyuki Nakagawa (JPN), Maartje Paumen (NED), Helen Richardson (ENG), Janneke Schopman (NED), Belen Succi (ARG), Coaches: Carlos Retegui (ARG) & Frank Murray (AUS)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hockey Events

  • The World Vintage Hockey Carnival in Barbados in October 2010 for teams of players over 35 who love hockey, playing in fantastic hockey destinations and mixing and mingling with like minded players from all over the world. Fun, friendship and competition in one of the world’s most wonderful idyllic settings. Check out the details and plan to join us for fun in the sun next October.
  • The Cape Town Under 18 International Hockey Festival for schools and clubs between July 18 and 24, 2011. Time to start to put your teams together for a fabulous celebration of hockey in South Africa’s sporting capital. Check out the details and plan to join Under 18 Schools and Club teams from around the world for a truly international experience for young hockey players.

Vintage Hockey Carnival, Barbados, October 2010

The Cockspur Old Gold Roosters and their manager, Ricky Clarke will host the 1st World Vintage Hockey Carnival and you are invited to be part of this exciting addition to the Hockey Calendar.

"We are very excited to be hosting the 1st World Vintage Hockey Carnival" said Ricky Clarke manager of the Cockspur Old Gold Roosters and Carnival Director. "With the support of the Barbados Tourism Authority, the Barbados Hockey Federation and the Vintage Hockey Office we expect to put on an enjoyable week of hockey, recreation, relaxation and partying on our beautiful island".

Check out the website at

Carnival Program
Sunday 17 to Sunday 24 October will be a Caribbean Celebration of Hockey. Check out the program at

How Much Will It Cost?
The Carnival Organisers have arranged a good spread of Carnival accommodation with hotels in the St Lawrence Gap South Coast area. Check out the accommodation at

What Do We Get for Our Money?
Plenty - Check out value for money at

Teams and Supporters
The Carnival will host Mens, Ladies and Mixed Teams in age groups and standards of playing strength. Supporters, part teams and individuals also welcomed to take a full part in the Carnival.

Register your interest by following this link and
Enter now by following this link

Cape Town, South Africa Under 18 Festival
for Schools and Clubs, 2011

Introduced in 2003, the Cape Town International Under 18 Hockey Festival is a well-established celebration of the great game of field hockey for School and Club teams, supporters, coaches and officials. An extremely valuable hockey and educational experience for all who take part, the Cape Town Under 18 Festival attracts teams from throughout the world.

The next Carnival is to be played between 18 and 24 July, 2011 on outstanding playing facilities throughout the South African sporting capital, beautiful and supportive Cape Town. The standard of hockey is excellent and competitive at all levels. Following initial games teams will compete in the Elite Competition, the Festival Section or the Plate Section so that all teams can enjoy their matches from teams from various parts of the world.

All we ask is that players are aged Under 18 on the 1st September 2010 that they enjoy playing hockey, that they enjoy mixing and mingling with people of their age group from other countries and teams and that they enjoy the wonderful opportunities sports and travel offer.

Festival Program
Hockey, sight-seeing excursions it’s all planned
Check out the program at

How Much Will It Cost?
Costings and accommodation details are available here>>

What Do We Get For Our Money?
The inclusions in the comprehensive packages for players and supporters can be seen on the website here>>

Teams and Supporters

The Festival will host Girls and Boys Teams under the age of 18 at 1st September 2010 representing Schools or Clubs. Each team must be accompanied by two adults-coaches, staff or parents.

Supporters are welcomed.

Follow this link to register your interest or enter the Festival.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

4 Nations fixtures

Tuesday 2nd June
14h00 Australia vs India
16h00 South Africa vs Argentina

Wednesday 3rd June
14h00 Argentina vs Australia
16h00 South Africa vs India

Thursday 4th June

Friday 5th June
14h00 India vs Argentina
16h00 South Africa vs Australia

Saturday 6th June
12h30 3rd vs 4th
15h00 1st vs 2nd

SA hockey

Leading South African hockey writer John Cook recently did a post about financial support for two players who are supposed to represent the U21 team in Singapore at the U21 World Cup.

In a nutshell - each player needs R28000 to represent their country on this tour. The South African Hockey Association (SAHA) kicks in about R10000 per player.

So get this logic - you reach the top of your game, are selected for national representation and then you're told that if you don't have R18000 you will be replaced by somebody who can afford to pay the money to go on tour...

... errr ja that sounds fair... especially when you have guys like Buthana Khompela complaining that not enough players of colour are selected.

I appreciate that there is no bottomless pit of money to support all the international teams that we roll out every year, but then government must also accept that they cannot force their political agendas onto people who can't afford to be selected.

SAHA has also known for four years that this this event was coming up - in four years you couldn't raise R250k?

I've been involved with hockey for the last six years in various administerial positions and I know for a fact we have great hockey players. One has only to remember that Marsha Marescia was selected as one of the best in the world despite our very amateurish local setup.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

National Under 21 Women’s team

The South African Hockey Asspociation today announced the National Under 21 Women’s team to participate in the BDO Junior Women’s World Cup Tournament.

The tournament takes place in Boston , Massachusetts, USA from the 3rd to 16th August 2009.

Julia Cass (SG), Louise Coertzen (SG), Sulette Damons (NW), Celia Evans (NW), Sarah Harley (SG), Hanli Hattingh (WP), Loreen Irvine (NW), Camille Jasson (SG), Nicole Kemp (EP), Kelly Madsen (Kzn Coastals), Candice Manuel (WP), Ncedisa Magwentshu (SG), Jade Mayne (WP), Catherine McNulty (SG), Mapule Mokoena (SG), Kerry Pearton (Kzn Coastals), Philippa Rabey (WP), Nicolene Terblanche (Nor.).

Shelly Freyer (Kzn Coastals), Faye Irvine (NW), Michaela Paterson (WP), Sammy Prost (Nor), Cherie Smith (FS), Chanelle van Niekerk (EP).


Manager : Mrs. Bernie Thomas
Coach : Mr. Fabian Gregory
Asst. Coach : Mr. Greg Hesom
Video / Stats : Mr. Patrick Tshutshani
Physiotherapist : Miss: Fazlien Jacobs

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sports - changing world order

I believe quite strongly that a combination of the IPL and the economic (financial) crisis will fundamentally change sport across the globe. I'm probably going to say a few things that are going to be considered a little controversial but it's something I've been intrigued by for quite a while now.

Broadly speaking up until a few years ago the financial power of world sport remained in two major power centres - the US and Europe (Specifically the UK).

Even now the big money in rugby, soccer, motorsport and golf still emanates from these parts... but I don't expect that to last.

Some predictions:

  • I expect in five years time that Bangladeshi cricket will have overtaken English cricket in the test and One Day International rankings
  • Argentina rugby will be stronger than the European nations within seven years
  • In less than a decade I don't believe that the English premiership will be regarded as the leading football league in the world
  • Clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea will be competing with clubs from places like South America, the US and Asia in a global league in the not too distant future as opposed to the UEFA tournaments.
  • Bit of a wild one but I believe that South Africa will have one competitive football team in this tournament in ten years
  • I believe that the premier rugby competition - which will usurp the Super 14 - will be played out of either South Africa or Japan inside the next seven years and will work along the same lines as the IPL cricket system with either a bid or draft offering to pick sides.
  • Motorsport will be dominated by Chinese and Indian manufacturers and representatives and the Middle East and mainstream Asia will host most of the glamour races
  • Support for international brands such as the Springboks, All Blacks, Proteas, Wallabies etc will decline over the next ten years with cross-border franchises attracting greater support.

Obviously there are a lot of people who don't want to hear about the changing global world order but at the end of the day it is a numbers game - China, India, the rest of Asia and Brazil to some extent are growing rapidly at all levels...

  1. Look at what China achieved at the last world Olympics
  2. Look at the support the IPL has attracted - it's HUGE money and prestige that far outweighs what the international cricket boards can afford to pay their players.
  3. F1 used to be the domain of the European manufacturers... suddenly the likes of Toyota are coming in and the Middle East is pouring money into development of tracks and teams - things are going to look very different in a few years time...

Does it sound like lunatic fringe stuff or do you think there is some merit to it all? Would love your input?

Friday, April 10, 2009


The SPAR South African Women’s hockey team has received a welcome boost with the news that a four-nations tournament against strong opposition is to be held in Durban in June.

The SPAR Cup, which will feature South Africa, Argentina, Australia and India, will form part of South Africa’s preparations for the important eight-nations Champions Challenge to be played in Cape Town in October. The Champions Challenge involves the countries ranked from seventh to 12th in the world, as well as the team that finished sixth in the previous Champions Trophy. The winner of the Challenge competes in the next Champions Trophy.

Argentina are ranked second in the world, and Australia fifth, while India are ranked 14th – two places below South Africa. The opportunity to play strong opposition in a tournament situation will provide South Africa with much-needed international experience in a tournament situation.

The Australian coach, Frank Murray , was enthusiastic about the tournament.

“Durban will be the first time our players have been together since the Olympic Games in Beijing last year,” he said. “With more than half of the Beijing Squad now retired, it will be a great opportunity for the younger ones to step on the international stage and show us that they should be part of our plans through to the Olympic Games in London in 2012. “The four teams competing cover a broad range of playing styles and it will be good for our younger players to experience this. “We are looking forward to visiting and playing in Durban - none of our players nor staff have been to Durban before,” he said.

SPAR Marketing Director Roelf Venter said the supermarket chain were delighted to be able to sponsor the tournament.

“Having supported Hockey for over 13 years, The SPAR GROUP LTD sees the importance of assisting in areas that have traditionally been overlooked by sponsors. By Inviting International teams to tour our country it provides our players with the opportunity to play with the best in the world so they can gain valuable experience. In addition to this it also gives SPAR the opportunity to create the awareness and raise the profile of not only the sport of Hockey but the players as well .We are extremely proud of our association with our national women's team and are committed to supporting women's sport in South Africa”

The tournament will be played on a round robin bases with teams finishing in position one and two on the log, toughing it out in a final played on the 6th of June. Two matches takes place on each scheduled playing day. All matches are played at the Queensmead Hockey Stadium.

Tickets available at the Queensmead Hockey Stadium on all match days.
Ticket Prices:
Adults: R20
Children (u/18): R10
Adults (for all days): R50
Children (u/18 for all days): R30