St Mary's Investec Hockey Festival
It is difficult to believe that the event which has been a year in planning, is already over. The partnership with our major sponsor, Investec, has grown and enabled this event to become a sought-after fixture on the hockey calendar in South Africa. Cell C enabled us to have two days of live streaming so that parents and other interested parties could watch the matches from all over the world. It was an awesome four days. Bar a little rain on the opening day, the weather was close to perfect, which helped to keep our stress levels at bay. Framlingham College from Suffolk, in the UK (the school with which we have a hockey exchange) was able to join us for the first and, hopefully, not the last, time.
The four long days of hockey from 07h45 to 20h15 ran on time and were full of excitement, as well as interesting wins and losses. The fluctuations in teams’ performance from year to year can be substantial and always provides opportunities for different schools to shine. C & N Sek. Meisieskool Oranje (OMS) have dominated the St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival for the past four years. They were de-throned in the semi-final by Collegiate Girls’ High School, from Port Elizabeth. The final was a closely-contested affair that, after five minutes of golden goal time, the teams were locked in a 0-0 draw. The eight second penalties saw St Mary’s DSG, Kloof, claim the title. They last won the festival in 2007 when their current coach, Kelly Reed (Madsen), played in that team.
The St Mary’s 1st team struggled to find the fluid rhythm that has become the norm. Their play was erratic, and, although they ended second in the pool, they finally placed in 9th position. The St Mary’s Festival team did well and lost games to some of the top teams only 0-1. They tried hard and the improvement in some of the players during the four days was noticeable. They played against Roedean in the Vuvuzela final and ended in tie 25th position. We must remember that they are the only 2nd team in the festival.
We have received positive feedback from many sources but the dominant comments are about the impressive team work shown by all St Mary’s stakeholders. The Little Saints children made the papier mache rhinos and joined in the support of the teams. The social media team comprising the marketing girls, public relations and communication heads, the cropping board and photography club are thanked for their service. The rest of the school, lead by the Spirit Squad, were at every game, irrespective of the time. The cleaners and groundstaff made every effort to keep all as pristine as possible. The operations staff saw that all was done on time.
The kitchen staff produced seven delicious meals for 650 people. The sports staff ran the technical table at two venues for four days without a snag and the parents worked solidly for the entire festival.
Thank you to everybody – what an event.
Head of Sport