The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) today announced the SA Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams that will feature in the Tokyo Olympic Games in July and August this year.

Speaking to Hockey the Podcast, SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni paid tribute to the teams who have worked tirelessly through the covid pandemic to this point.

“There has been so much anxiety around the games, what it will look like, travel and so much more. We have got here though and it’s all systems go at last! As South African Hockey we commend the selectors of the squads, the management and the players for the incredible work done in this process. Congratulations to the players selected, we look forward to you supporting at the games.”

The SA Women’s Hockey team features Lisa-Marie Deetlefs who will be going to her third Olympic Games. She is the only existing Olympian in the squad which features three uncapped players and four centurions including Quanita Bobbs, Lilian du Plessis and Celia Seerane. The team features a total of 977 caps, with an average of 61 caps per player. They will be captained by Erin Christie and supported by Phumelela Mbande. 

Women’s Head Coach Robin van Ginkel was pleased with his squad:

“The year that we have had extra as a result of the postponement, has been a massive positive for us in growth. Our energy has been revived and I truly believe we are in a better position than we would have been a year ago. We are ready to take on the Olympic Games and so excited to be able to share our squad today.

We went through a rigorous selection process and came across the team that is what we believe is the right combination to make South Africa proud.”

The SA Women are in Group A of the tournament and start their campaign on the 24 July against Ireland. Their second game will take place two days later against Great Britain with Netherlands awaiting 48 hours after that. Its then a quick turnaround between match four against Germany on 30 July and match five against India just 24 hours later.

The SA Hockey Men’s squad announced features five Olympians. Rassie Pieterse, Tim Drummond, Taine Paton and Clinton Panther will add a second games to their cv’s having appeared in London in 2012, while Austin Smith also appeared in Beijing in 2008.

18-year-old Mustapha Cassiem and 21-year-old Sam Mvimbi will be playing in their first major tournament while every other player has featured in one major. The team has a combined 1 179 caps with the average of 74 per player. Tim Drummond will continue to lead the team as captain.

SA Men’s Head Coach Garreth Ewing could not wait to get to Tokyo.

“It’s definitely been an interesting 12 months. I think we have taken the positive in growing in maturity and culture over the past year. It is a great opportunity to make an improvement in the world rankings, but that is something we want to do over a sustainable period.

I am very pleased with the squad we have put together. It was a difficult process, but I am certain we have the team that can go to games and meet our objectives.”

The SA Hockey Men are in Group B. They will open their adventure against Great Britain on the 24 July and then take on Netherlands just 24 hours later in a quick start to their tournament. They next face world number 1 Belgium on the 27th before Germany await on the 29th. The South Africans close off their group stage with a match against Canada on the 30 July.

Listen to Hockey the Podcast – The Squad Announcement here

https://iono.fm/e/1045650 

The South African Hockey association can today announce that TK Sports South Africa are the new kit supplier of the national teams. This agreement renews the relationship between TK and SA Hockey, having previously been the kit supplier spanning two FIH Hockey World Cups, most recently the Women and Men's World Cups of 2010. Now, the Elephants are Back.

Having returned to International Hockey for the first time in over a year, the SA Hockey Men wore the limited edition Simunye kit in collaboration with TK. They will now return to the green and gold TK kit for the first time since 2010 for the third to fifth Test Matches vs Namibia. The agreement with TK Sports South Africa runs until December 2023 and will be rolled out for the next confirmed events calendar of the women and men's teams.

Marissa Langeni, CEO of SA Hockey, was delighted to share the news.

“We are delighted to renew our relationship with TK and welcome them back into the South African Hockey family. They have been fantastic supporters of South African Hockey over the years. As a brand, TK reflects our ambitions for growth, and we look forward to working with them to bring fans new and exciting products. We are extremely excited for this partnership.”

Rassie Pieterse, MD of TK Sports South Africa, echoed in his delight.

“TK Sports have been providing equipment for hockey since 1985 and have a longstanding heritage of leading brands worldwide. We are delighted to be able to put the players in kit that bring out the best of their performance on the turf. The South African Hockey fanbase is a passionate and proud group of people. We are also excited by the opportunity to offer supporters a chance to get their own replica kit and to see stadiums packed in green and gold once fans are allowed to return. The elephants are back!”

Replica kits will be available for purchase on TK Sports SA online store. A portion of every sale will be given by TK back to SA Hockey.

At the start of the 2021 Indoor Africa Cup the Namibian women were determined to prove that the 2017 victory was not a fluke. Throughout the tournament they reiterated the fact that the only game that mattered was the final and today was their opportunity to show that.

Despite a fast paced start by the hosts the defensive wall at the back held firm for the Namibians with Gillian Hermanus being forefront of that effort. When called upon Petro Stoffberg was keen to show the 2017 form that was paramount in qualifying the team and she did just that. As the clock ticked it the opportunity opened for Namibia and 17 year old Cailtin Gillies fired home a low penalty corner to give the defending champions the lead.

It was a lead they would double when Caitlin Gillies turned provider and set Sunelle Ludwig up who finished a superb opportunity. 2-0 and the hosts were shook. That would stay the final score despite 12 penalty corner attempts for South Africa and at the final whistle there was jubilation as Namibia had sealed the spot at the 2022 Indoor Hockey World Cup and as the champions of Africa.

Namibia’s captain and stalwart midfielder Magreth Mengo said: “It feels fantastic, amazing and blessed. I don’t really have the words. We sorted out our defensive team and worked hard together. We helped each other and we had each other’s back. Belgium here we come. We are representing Africa, so watch out, here we come. Namibia is representing Africa at world level.”

FINAL RESULTS

Namibia 2-0 South Africa

AWARDS

Top Goalscorer – Tegan Fourie (South Africa)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Petro Stoffberg (Namibia)
Player of the Tournament – Petro Stoffberg (Namibia)

After watching a repeat of the 2017 result the two mens side took to the court at Thomas Moore College to renew their own battle and it could not have started better for Namibia than taking the lead in the 12th minute through Fagen Hansen.

South Africa would however pull level through the younger Cassiem, Mustapha on the verge of half-time and then turned the temperature up a degree in the third chukka with a quick double from Chad Futcher, the player of the match in the final, and skipper Jethro Eustice.

Namibia never backed down and although they searched gainfully for a way back into the game their hopes were distinguished with a Chad Futcher second. The score would stay that way and South Africa confirmed their fifth attendance at the Indoor Hockey World Cup

Captain of South Africa men, Jethro Eustice, said: “I am so excited, we have put a long process together with this group over the past year and a half. It wasn’t easy, Namibia put up a good fight but now we can’t wait to build up for the World Cup. We have an exceptionally talented group but we have to challenge the world now. We had an exciting programme that challenged Africa, now we challenge the world.”

FINAL RESULTS

Namibia 1-4 South Africa

AWARDS

Top Goalscorer – Fagen Hansen (Namibia)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Bongumusa Mngoma (South Africa)
Player of the Tournament – Dayaan Cassiem (South Africa)

 

The 2021 African Hockey Indoor Africa Cup, powered by Pharco and SPAR,  takes place this weekend at the newly built iKhwezi Sports Centre at Thomas More College in Kwazulu Natal. The tournament that features Botswana, Namibia and SPAR South Africa will be played to determine which Men’s and Women’s teams will represent the continent at the 2022 Indoor Hockey World Cup in Belgium.

The tournament which was postponed on multiple occasions and on the verge of cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the globe, will be played without spectators but all teams involved will be delighted that they will have the opportunity to vie for the title as African Champions.

In the Men’s tournament the South African men, backed by Tops at SPAR, will be looking to defend the title they won in Swakopmund in 2017. That victory led the South Africans to 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin and to their current ranking of 11th in the world. The team will look to the experience of Justin Domleo, Rusten Abrahams and Jethro Eustice to guide the team, while Ryan Hack’s experience of two World Cup’s will be key in guiding his team to glory.

The South Africans will know the challenge of the Namibians fairly well from their previous encounters while the Botswana’s offer a fairly unknown, but exciting opposition as the growth of indoor hockey on the continent continues at pace.

In 2017 SPAR South Africa dominated the Indoor Africa Cup in Swakopmund, but a fairy-tale finish in the final saw the game tied and Namibia emerge victorious in the resultant shootout. It was one of the fine underdog stories of sport around the world. They would go to the World Cup and write another show stopping script with 16-year-old Kiana Cormack securing top goal scorer at the tournament. The team that will come to South Africa to defend their title is largely changed from that historical triumph but Maggie Mengo, Petro Stoffberg and Gillian Hermanus will hope they can channel the spirit of 2017 once again.

SPAR South Africa were devastated in 2017 but have since gone on to produce some of the most historic results in Indoor Hockey history with victories against a host of nations including Czech Repbulic, Switzerland, Poland and Namibia too. The team consists of experience spear headed by two icons in Jessica O’Connor and Cindy Hack, while the three debutants once again point to the depth available in South African Indoor Hockey.

There was a taste of what the Botswana Ladies could offer when they were in South Africa for the SPAR Test Series back in 2019 and all involved will be excited to see how the country has developed in their game since that series.

The tournament format sees a round robin where each team plays each other twice over Friday and Saturday before the top two progress to the final on Sunday in a winner takes all match.

Download the fixtures here

Although spectators are not allowed due to the COVID Protocol in place, the games will be live streamed on the Rayder Media YouTube page as well as the FIH Watch Hockey App.

Original article published by FIH - http://fih.ch/news/dual-roles-for-nonnie/

Nonhlanhla Mtolo, who is also known as Nonnie in South African hockey circles, started volunteering in 2016 and in that time has become an expert in both team management skills and the demands of being a tournament Technical Official.

The South African started her volunteering career in 2016 when she was a judge for the Varsity Hockey tournament at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, universally known as ‘Wits’.

This bi-annual hockey event, which features the top eight university hockey sides in the country, is a true showcase of university hockey in South Africa. A huge number of varsity hockey alumni going on to represent South Africa on the international stage. The event provided a big platform on which Nonhlanhla started her volunteering journey.

Following the Wits event, Nonhlanhla took up a role as the U14 D Southern Gauteng Schools Team Manager, organising and caring for the young players in the provincial hockey calendar of events. She undertook this responsibility for two seasons – 2016 and 2017 – before taking her considerable organisational skills into team manager roles with the U16s, the U18s and the Southern Gauteng Women’s Indoor Team.

While continuing with her volunteering roles on the domestic hockey scene, Nonhlanhla has also made the step into international volunteering. She was Ball Patrol Manager at the FIH World Hockey League finals in Johannesburg in 2017 – a crucial job that involves managing the team of youngsters who ensure the game runs smoothly and without delay.

She has continued to manage ball patrol teams at the Premier Hockey League in South Africa every year since.

Nonhlanhla’s big break came in 2018 when she was appointed Technical Official for the U21 Inter Provincial Tournament. It was a role she repeated for the African Youth Games in Algeria. In 2019, she was Technical Official for the South Africa v Namibia series and in 2020, for the South Africa v Germany series.

Talking about her dual volunteering career as a Team Manager and Technical Official, Nonhlanhla says: “I am passionate about both aspects of the game and feel really privileged to be able to do both. I've been lucky enough to learn from one of the greats, Josie Milella. The experience and passion she has for the game is immeasurable and she definitely someone I look up to and feel honoured to work with."

Original article published http://fih.ch/news/josie-learns-from-the-best/ 

Josie Milella began her volunteering journey in 2003 when she was the team liaison person for the Belgium Men National team at the FIH Champions Challenge. The event was held in Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg and it was at this point that South African Josie knew that volunteering for hockey events was something about which she was really motivated and enthused.

Josie was in good hands from the start. The tournament director at the Randburg event was Sheila Brown, one of the most experienced and respected hockey administrators in the game, having been Tournament Director at both Olympic and World Cup events. Under Sheila's careful guidance, Josie quickly found her place in the world of hockey volunteering. 

Every year from 2003 onwards, Josie would volunteer for events, learning how various aspects of a tournament worked by throwing herself into each role with energy and a willingness to learn.

It was 14 years later at the 2017 Hockey World League that Josie experienced her steepest learning curve. In the highly pressurised environment of an Olympic qualifying event, Josie was working with FIH Events Manager Eduardo Leonardo and, as she says: “That was a fun event, but boy, I really learned a lot.”

The most recent large scale event that Josie has been involved in was the 2019 Africa Hockey Road to Tokyo in Stellenbosch. Again, this was an Olympic qualifier with all the attendant pressures and stresses but Josie took it all in her stride, with calm competence. Josie’s approach to every event is to see it as a learning opportunity. 

She says that she owes a debt of gratitude to everyone who has helped her along her own hockey journey from complete novice to experienced and highly respected volunteer. “I believe it is an incredible honour to serve the game,” says Josie, with typical humility.

 

Mickey Gordon is a name that has been associated with sport his whole life, none more than hockey. He has devoted his life to developing the sport of hockey with an involvement that incorporates many aspects including playing, coaching, umpiring, administration and more. 

Mickey’s role at SA Hockey has seen him obtain umpiring colours, serve as the SA U21 B Coach as well as being a selector at age group levels of U16, U18 and U21 alongside being an USSA Selector. His biggest and most prized role though, was undoubtedly the 12 years that he has been Convenor of Selectors for the National Women’s side working alongside the likes of Jenny King, Giles Bonnet and Sheldon Rostron to name a few. 

Gordon’s love for the game is second to none and in conversation with him you will immediately feel his passion for hockey. Long after he had stepped away from his role on the SA Hockey Board, Mickey continued to attract top teams to SA in the summer months offering them a training base during his tenure at North West University and the University of the Free State alike. On the back of Mickey moving off from the role of National Convenor of Selectors, SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni paid tribute to his wonderful service.

“Mickey Gordon is a wonderful ambassador and servant of the game of hockey in South Africa. He has recently settled into a new key role as part of the local organising committee of the 2021 Womens Junior World Cup.  On behalf of the South African Hockey Association I want to thank Mickey Gordon for his service to the game over the last few decades.”

Doreen Martin today celebrates her 100th Birthday. The South African Hockey Community celebrate alongside the former SA Women’s Hockey President.

Doreen’s involvement in hockey throughout her life tells a wonderful story of a committed and passionate individual.

After starting her hockey career at Progressive while at high school, it was California where Doreen showed the off-field abilities moving from secretary to treasurer and eventually chairperson. She was also an umpire excelling at various national tournaments.

From 1967 onwards Doreen served in various roles for the Western Province Hockey Union including secretary, treasurer and eventually president of the Union in 1976. She served in this position until her retirement in 1988. She also served as the president of the SA Women’s Hockey Board from 1977 for just over a decade before being made Honorary Life President at the time of her retirement. Incredibly she held both positions at the same time requiring remarkable effort levels.

In 2008 at the SA Women’s Hockey Association function in Port Elizabeth she was presented with the SA Hockey Badge for her service to the game. Mrs Martin represents a generation that impacted and contributed to building a better society.

SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni shares:

“Today the South African Hockey family celebrates a wonderful milestone birthday with Doreen Martin. She has always been a superb servant of the game serving for a remarkable period and impressively so. We hope you have a wonderful day with your loved ones!”

All the SA Hockey Community thank Doreen for her service to the game and wish her all the best for this milestone birthday!

By Gordon Pentecost and Warren Boden

It is with great sadness that the hockey fraternity learnt on Tuesday morning of the passing of Tony Godding.

Tony, affectionally known to all as Godders, loved hockey and made a huge contribution in so many spheres of the game.

He represented Border at provincial level and once he retired, he then immersed himself in all facets of the game.

He served as convenor of the National Men’s Selection Panel, National Men’s Under 21 Selection Panel and South African Schools Selection Panel. He was appointed Coach of the National Men’s Team and the National Under 21 Men’s team.

He also served on the South African Hockey Association Executive.

In his later years he devoted his time to school’s hockey in various capacities for Border Schools and then in particular for Selborne College. His coaching, knowledge and ability to understand and motivate young hockey players, had a massive impact on legions of Selborne Boys College players. His contribution to Selborne helped the school establish its reputation as one of the leading hockey playing schools in South Africa and the annual Selborne Hockey Festival was named “The Tony Godding Hockey Festival” in his honour- an accolade he so richly deserved.

He was an amazingly knowledgeable hockey man, who showed insight, wisdom and empathy with all the men who played in the teams he coached. Godders was a hockey encyclopaedia, who could remember hockey scores of most hockey world cup finals at the drop of a hat.

So, dedicated and committed was he that on the eve of a test match he had to settle his nerves with a Radox bath and several liquid tranquilizers. His pre-match talks were legendary as in those days there were no PowerPoint facilities or smart boards and  they usually consisted of bottle tops being moved around the table with a trembling hand, but the message and tactics always hit the mark.

We had the privilege of serving on selection panels with Tony and being such a highly principled man, he made sure that every single player was considered thoroughly, before the final selection was made. His integrity was never questioned amongst coaches and players.

His contribution to Border hockey was immense, where his energy, administration, coaching and mentoring skills for more than 60 years was legendary and beyond equal.

I valued his wisdom and his friendship immensely and, on many occasions, when faced with a hockey related problem, I had no hesitation in phoning Tony, where he would listen carefully to the problem and then give me such wise council.

Tony was a legend in South African Hockey and the tributes which have poured in from hockey players throughout the country and abroad, bears testimony to the respect and love that they had for him.

He will be sorely missed but his memory will last forever.  

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture has given SA Hockey the go ahead to resume training and matches for hockey at large. 

“The previous approvals given related to the return to training for National and Provincial High-Performance squads at Alert Level 3, this new approval received allows for the broader hockey community to return to play, whilst observing specified protocols. The return has been long awaited and we would like to thank the Minister for the approval,” said SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni.

The letter received grants permission for the resumption of hockey activities and competition as outlined in SA Hockey’s Operational Guidelines and outlines that SA Hockey need to ensure that:

  • It adheres to the plans it has submitted and committed to.
  • All SA Hockey Affiliates need to be compliant and provide operational plans for the resumption of hockey 
  • It adheres to the Disaster Management Act 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002): Determination of Alert Level as gazetted on 17 August 2020
  • It adheres to the Amendments of Directions Issued in Terms of Regulation 4 (10) of the Regulations Made Under Section 27 (2) of The Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No 57 of 2002): Measures to Prevent and Combat the Spread of Covid-19: Sport, Arts and Culture as gazetted on 28 August 2020. 

Provinces and Affiliate Members will be given the opportunity to apply for Certificates of Operation for all clubs and venues as part of SA Hockey’s Covid-19 compliance processes. Alert Level 1 directions for sport have not as yet been made available. SA Hockey will make further adjustments, if needed, to the submission already made, if the Level 1 Directions determine a need for it. 

“Our members are encouraged to remain extremely vigilant as South Africa is still in a state of National Disaster, all efforts must be put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 to the best of our ability and to avoid a second wave.”