If day one of the 2021 IPT was an item off the menu of the great hockey restaurant, it would have been called some witty reference to gluttony as goals flowed easier than opinions on social media. And in fairness after the drought that had ensued there was always likely to be an overflow of action as teams returned to the pitch.

If you were looking for more gluttony on day 2 you would have come to the wrong place. On the menu for day 2 was emotional roller coasters and the agony and ecstasy of sport.

In the opening game of the day the Northern Blues were looking to extend their winning start and looked on course after Izelle Verster made it 1-0 with an expertly deflected goal from a Tegan Fourie Drag flick. Free State, looking for their first win of the tournament were superb in their fight back and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 34th minute. A poor foul gave Tanya Britz the chance to equalise from the spot and although the keeper made the save it wasn’t a strong enough arm to deny the Free State parity.

As the game was heading towards a 1-1 conclusion the Northern Blues found inspiration from a what can only be described as a familiar source as Kim Hubach popped up as the hero. A penalty corner variation was swept to Hubach who fired home expertly for the goal that would ultimately decide the tie.

If that late goal was heart breaking for Free State, it would be more of the same in game two. A superb performance from the WP Pens looked to deny the SPAR KZN Raiders the win but Lilian du Plessis was the hero with a goal in the final minute of the game to win it 2-1.

Du Plessis had opened the scoring in the 4th minute, and many would have thought they were merely going to march their way to a convincing win. After soaking up pressure and defending superbly the hosts managed to pull level in the final chukka. Cailyn Maree converted from the spot after the ball hit Jess O Connor on the line.

It was du Plessis who laughed last, loudest and pretty painfully for the Pens as she hit a wonderful reverse stick shot into the net with merely seconds left on the clock.

The SA U21 side showed their intent to not just gain experience at the IPT but also potentially compete for the title with a wonderful 4-1 win over Eastern Province. Mikkela le Roux got a brace that was perfectly sandwiched by a brace from Hanrie Louw as the TK emblazoned team comfortably built a four-goal lead.

There was a late consolation goal for Ciara Frances but the U21 side were good value for a very good win.

In the main course / headline fixture of the day it was the age-old battle between Southern Gauteng and Western Province. This is as big as it gets in South African provincial hockey as taxi’s stop, ubers flutter and Checkers Sixty60 changes their delivery route in order to catch a glimpse of the grudge match. A major grudge match can often leave you with disappointment, but these two tagged up together to produce a classic.

Nompilo Thenjwayo opened the scoring in the 12th minute for the Gauteng side after picking up a ball in the D and bundling it into the net. The Southerns ladies were still in celebration mode as the quarter wound down, but Western Province produced an outstanding counterattack that Julia Hoal netted with a sublime striker.

The score would remain deadlocked until the final quarter when the question was simply asked, who will make this moment count. The answer was a resounding Southern Gauteng. A quick move saw Sylvia van Jaarsveldt strike, her shot was saved but Thenjwayo was wonderfully positioned to tap the ball home. She would be delighted with her contribution on a big day for the 2018 winners.

Lezaan Jansen van Vuuren made it 3-1 and put the victory almost in the bag with a walloping shot on the follow up of a penalty corner, but there was time for a colossal finish as Province made it 3-2 through Nicole Koenig firing through a busy circle. With just seconds on the clock there was not enough time for the comeback to be completed and it was 2 out of 2 for Southerns.

Former South African captain and triple Olympian Austin Smith has announced his retirement from International Hockey following the teams run at the Tokyo Olympic games. Smith featured for South Africa 183 times over his career including at the Beijing, London and Tokyo Games.

Smith made his debut against Canada in 2004 in a 2-1 win and would score his first goal for his country against Scotland in 2007. Smith was appointed captain of the team in 2009, a year which would later see him named in the FIH World All-Stars team. Smith would go on to captain the team on 97 occasions in his career.

During this time Smith has been plying his trade for Den Bosch in the Hoofdklasse where he became only the second foreign player in history to score 100 goals and will continue for the next season.

Austin Smith issued his statement on his social media accounts:

“After 17 years playing for the South African men’s national hockey team I have decided to retire from international hockey.

“For the majority of my adult life playing for this team at the best of my ability has been my only goal. At the age of 36 I can honestly say for the first time I don’t feel I can commit 100% to the team any longer, so although I’m sad to be retiring I know it’s the right decision for myself and the team.

I’m truly going to miss things like touring with a great bunch of guys, going to fantastic events all over the world, battling in Africa to qualify for a World Cup or Olympic Games and of course attending those big tournaments as well. These moments have resulted in some tremendous highs along with a few lows, but I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to experience both of these strong emotions.

I hope that the next generation of players will be able to take South African hockey into the top 10 and beyond. It was a dream of mine to be a part of the team that did that, but I will settle for seeing it happen in my lifetime, preferably sooner rather than later guys

My sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way. The list of people and organisations who have helped me during my career is extremely long. I hope I will be able to thank you all personally. Many people don’t realise how challenging our environment can be at times so to have a support network like I have really makes me very fortunate.

Going forward I’m excited to continue playing with my club team Den Bosch in The Netherlands and continuing my work at the international school of Eindhoven as a primary school teacher.

It’s been an absolute honour representing South Africa for the past 17 years.

Austin #5

Marissa Langeni, CEO of SA Hockey, paid tribute to Smith for a superb career

“Austin was an embodiment of proudly South African from when he started his national career until the moment of his retirement. He is a wonderful ambassador for the game of hockey, but an even bigger ambassador for the country.

Thank you for the service and good luck for the Hoofdklasse season. The number 5 jersey is in a far richer place now than when you started! We look forward to seeing you next to the field and supporting the game of hockey”

The South African Women knew they would be up against it as they took on the World and European Champions Netherlands in Tokyo this morning. Playing the morning game for the first time would also throw in the small matter of heat for the young South Africa side to contend with.

One player who seemed to use the heat to inspire her own performance was South African flag bearer Phumelela Mbande who, on her 50th cap, produced one of her finest performances. The South African shot stopper stood firm for 15 penalty corners, only conceding on 2.  And although she conceded 5 goals, she made a remarkable 18 saves in a performance that embodies the South African grit and determination.

Netherlands opened the scoring through the devastating Matla early in the second chukka after a goalless first quarter. The timing of the goal would have been disappointing after such a good first quarter, but the South Africans continued their focused approach and found themselves still only one goal down at the break.

The work and pressure were starting to tell on the South Africans and in the third quarter they added 2 more goals that made the game safe. Matla scoring with a mishit that caught Mbande off guard and Keetels added one more before the break.

South Africa were determined to keep the score line down and showed some great working in cleaning up the rebounds and clearing the efforts, while offering good support to Mbande when she made a save. Mbande was pulling off her own masterclass, with the highlight a remarkable stick save from a Matla drag flick.

But with time running out Alyson Annan’s team made it comfortable with two more goals. Albers and Verscoor the goalscorers as the gap between the teams was extended to 5-0. That is how the game would end. Netherlands continues their march to a potential gold medal, while the South Africans will now prepare for the game against European Championship silver medallists Germany on Friday

Its been 3 268 days since the South African men triumphed 3-2 over India at the London Olympics. There have been changes in coaches, changes in players and changes in dates of tournaments. There has been no change in the South African heart, determination and spirit. On 1 day both the SA Hockey Men and Women will return to Olympic action.

For the South African Men, they will start things off with a battle against Great Britain, the team they started the 2012 Olympics against. Coach Garreth Ewing will have Tim Drummond, Taine Paton, Austin Smith and Rassie Pieterse available from that historic and unfortunate draw. The team has of course had changes with Clinton Panther and Mo Mea ruled out, while Rusten Abrahams and Dan Bell have joined the team.

The SA Men had limited preparation with a home test series against Namibia resulting in a 5-0 win, while the CTM Showdown was a useful exercise. Warm up friendlies against Argentina and New Zealand have helped the team acclimatise. There are obvious questions about the team’s preparation that has been frustratingly blighted by the covid pandemic, but the time spent off the field has seen a togetherness fostered that can simply be defined as sublimely South African.

The South Africans will look to summon the character shown against Germany in a draw at Wits, or the performance of the team at the FIH Hockey Series Final, or the strength of the performance at the Road to Tokyo tournament in Stellenbosch. It promises to be a tough but exciting tournament for the South African Men.

The SA Hockey women open their campaign against Ireland, incredibly the last team they played in an official international fixture in February 2020. That was a tough series in Stellenbosch that the Irish were 3-0 winners of, but both teams are on a very different path now than they were 16 months ago.

The Irish of course are playing at their first ever Olympic Games trying to carry momentum from their remarkable World Cup run in 2018. That run to the final may ironically be the exact tonic to be the inspiration to take South Africa to an underdog victory.

The team will also be buoyed by vice-captain Phumelela Mbande fulfilling the role of flag bearer for Team South Africa in the opening ceremony, while the experience of now triple Olympian Lisa Deetiefs will be imperative to a good South African run. Erin Christie will also be a vital cog in inspiring her team as they look to shock the world.

In November 2019 the Springboks headed to Japan and inspired a nation. Nelson Mandela said that Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. As South Africans our teams have this notion ingrained in them. Our hockey teams will be living it in Tokyo.

For all match statistics and more, go to the Hockey page on the Olympics site here:

https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/olympic-games/en/results/hockey/olympic-schedule-and-results.htm

The South African challenge in Tokyo gets underway on Saturday. The 18 players in the squads will give their all after a long period of preparation and uncertainty, making the South African Hockey Family proud. Of course, as they have been along the journey, they will be superbly supported by our management teams that have led with the character that is so authentically South African.

Both teams are joined by five staff members in the Village who will help guide the teams for the tournament as we look to produce some memorable moments. The SA Womens Hockey team are led by head coach Robin van Ginkel, who is assisted by right hand man Inky Zondi. Gill Doig is the team manager while the team is completed by Cristy Mullender and Taren Naidoo.

The SA Hockey Men are led by Garreth Ewing, the head coach, while team manager Martin van Staden is the only member of the team that has been to the Olympics before having been with the team in 2012 in London. Sihle Ntuli, the current SA U21 Head coach is one of the assistants alongside Cheslyn Gie and Ashlin Freddy.

The South African Hockey Association thanks each member of our coaching staff for their superb service and wish them the best for the tournament!

  • Former FIFA and Adidas Global executive set to join in April 2018
  • Mr Weil's 'experience and knowledge will prove invaluable', says FIH President 
  • French national Weil succeeds Jason McCracken

Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) today announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with Thierry Weil set to join the organisation in April 2018.

Mr Weil has more than 35 years’ worth of experience as an executive leader and has a proven track record working at the highest levels of sports administration on the global stage.

A French national who is fluent in French, German and English, Thierry Weil is multi-cultural, multi-national and multi-lingual. His strong international reputation in the highest echelons of the sports industry has been cemented thanks to his executive roles at two companies – Adidas Global and, most recently, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Mr Weil spent over 25 years working for Adidas and held the position of ‘Vice President, Global Football Sports’ between 2003 and 2007, before enjoying a ten-year spell as the 'Director of Marketing' with FIFA at their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

Commenting on the appointment, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: ‘The FIH Executive Board and myself are absolutely delighted that Thierry will be joining the FIH. He has an impressive and varied skillset which combines a strong, successful commercial background with the know-how that comes from a decade of working at the largest international sporting federation in the world. We were left in no doubt that he was the stand-out candidate for this crucial leadership position.'

Mr Weil, who replaces previous incumbent Jason McCracken following his departure earlier this year, joins the FIH at one of the most exciting times in the long history of the sport.

As well as the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 (21 July - 5 August) and Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 (28 November – 16 December) events which take place later this year in England and India respectively, the inaugural season of the Hockey Pro League is also very much on the horizon.

The game-changing competition sees 152 international matches being played between January and June 2019 at locations all around the world, with nine men’s and nine women’s teams competing for the title. 

Speaking about his appointment, Mr Weil said: ‘I am honoured to have the trust of the FIH President and the Executive Board for the CEO position. My mission, together with our team in Lausanne, will be to inspire the next generation and make the Hockey Revolution happen.’

Dr Batra added: 'Thierry’s vast experience and knowledge will prove invaluable to the FIH as an organisation and also to the Hockey Revolution, as we enter the next phase of our ambition to become ‘a global game that inspires the next generation’. We greatly look forward to his arrival in April.'

 

National women’s hockey coach Sheldon Rostron has hailed the Premier Hockey League as an important part of the bigger picture of the country’s hockey set-up and said the standard of this year’s tournament was a big step up from 2016.

Speaking as the curtain came down on the 2017 event, Rostron was also enthusiastic about the growth opportunities for such a tournament.

The unheralded Orange River Rafters were crowned women’s champions and the Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen lifted the men’s trophy for a second consecutive year as the tournament came to an end on Tuesday evening.

“From last year’s PHL, I think we’ve seen a big improvement in the quality of hockey this year. I think it’s been part of our processes to make sure, from high performance, that we’ve really looked at the top players that are here, how those teams get put together,” said Rostron.

“We also tried to integrate all the under-21s that are in the system as well to make sure that they were all here to perform and we were very happy with the quality in general,” added the coach.

“Within Africa this is definitely one of the strongest leagues and we need to look at how we grow ourselves from this – potentially latching on to international players that could maybe come and add value in a process like this, and hopefully being able to professionalise in the long-term. I think that way we could really add a lot of value to the national team.”

With two major tournaments on the horizon for the national sides, the PHL provided selectors with one last chance to have a look at potential team members – with Rostron hinting there may even be a few surprises when his Commonwealth Games team is announced in January.

“In terms of players that we’ve seen, there’ve certainly been one or two that we’ve been happy to have a look at. I definitely think there are some players here that have put up their hands quite nicely,” he added.

Meanwhile, CEO of SA Hockey Marissa Langeni was also full of praise for the tournament. “I’m absolutely pleased with how the tournament has gone. I think there’s been some really exciting hockey for fans out there and I think the Premier Hockey League is obviously an event that everybody has been looking forward to.

“There were a few challenges with the rain but then again, over 8255 hockey fans have come through the gates to enjoy the spectacular display of hockey over the last three weekends –  I think that it’s been a phenomenal event all round.”

Looking ahead to next year’s tournament, which will likely be played in the winter months, Langeni added: “We’re now looking forward to PHL 2018 and to build on the successes achieved this year which, additional to the on field game, include educational workshops presented by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport as well as Milk SA from a nutritional perspective.

“Just in terms of the talent pool that’s out there, a lot of players are now asking how they can get involved in the PHL as they are realising that this is where they want to play. It is important for us as a national association to continue providing opportunities of access to the sport. The PHL provides us with a platform to create greater access for high performance athletes outside of our traditional inter-provincial tournaments.

“Our thanks go out to all our sponsors – SRSA, SuperSport, CTM, Crossroads, MilkSA, Tsogo, Grays, Greenfields, Old Mutual iWYZE and Private Property – for giving the players that opportunity and being a part of the hockey revolution in South Africa.”

 

Tournament award winners:

Men:

Player of the tournament: Miguel da Graca (Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen)

Top goal-scorer: Courtney Halle (Old Mutual iWYZE Golden Gate Gladiators)

Best goalkeeper: Gowan Jones (ProGrip Drakensberg Dragons)

Best junior player: Tyson Dlungwana (Old Mutual iWYZE Golden Gate Gladiators)

 

Women:

Player of the tournament: Kristen Paton (Old Mutual iWYZE Namaqualand Daisies)

Top goal-scorer: Sulette Damons (Orange River Rafters) and Tiffany Jones (Private Property St Lucia Lakers)

Best goalkeeper: Nicole La Fleur (Wineland Wings)

Best junior player: Ongi Mali (Old Mutual iWYZE Namaqualand Daisies)

 

Photos by Marcel Sigg

 

National women’s hockey coach Sheldon Rostron has hailed the Premier Hockey League as an important part of the bigger picture of the country’s hockey set-up and said the standard of this year’s tournament was a big step up from 2016.

Speaking as the curtain came down on the 2017 event, Rostron was also enthusiastic about the growth opportunities for such a tournament.

The unheralded Orange River Rafters were crowned women’s champions and the Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen lifted the men’s trophy for a second consecutive year as the tournament came to an end on Tuesday evening.

“From last year’s PHL, I think we’ve seen a big improvement in the quality of hockey this year. I think it’s been part of our processes to make sure, from high performance, that we’ve really looked at the top players that are here, how those teams get put together,” said Rostron.

“We also tried to integrate all the under-21s that are in the system as well to make sure that they were all here to perform and we were very happy with the quality in general,” added the coach.

“Within Africa this is definitely one of the strongest leagues and we need to look at how we grow ourselves from this – potentially latching on to international players that could maybe come and add value in a process like this, and hopefully being able to professionalise in the long-term. I think that way we could really add a lot of value to the national team.”

With two major tournaments on the horizon for the national sides, the PHL provided selectors with one last chance to have a look at potential team members – with Rostron hinting there may even be a few surprises when his Commonwealth Games team is announced in January.

“In terms of players that we’ve seen, there’ve certainly been one or two that we’ve been happy to have a look at. I definitely think there are some players here that have put up their hands quite nicely,” he added.

Meanwhile, CEO of SA Hockey Marissa Langeni was also full of praise for the tournament. “I’m absolutely pleased with how the tournament has gone. I think there’s been some really exciting hockey for fans out there and I think the Premier Hockey League is obviously an event that everybody has been looking forward to.

“There were a few challenges with the rain but then again, over 8255 hockey fans have come through the gates to enjoy the spectacular display of hockey over the last three weekends –  I think that it’s been a phenomenal event all round.”

Looking ahead to next year’s tournament, which will likely be played in the winter months, Langeni added: “We’re now looking forward to PHL 2018 and to build on the successes achieved this year which, additional to the on field game, include educational workshops presented by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport as well as Milk SA from a nutritional perspective.

“Just in terms of the talent pool that’s out there, a lot of players are now asking how they can get involved in the PHL as they are realising that this is where they want to play. It is important for us as a national association to continue providing opportunities of access to the sport. The PHL provides us with a platform to create greater access for high performance athletes outside of our traditional inter-provincial tournaments.

“Our thanks go out to all our sponsors – SRSA, SuperSport, CTM, Crossroads, MilkSA, Tsogo, Grays, Greenfields, Old Mutual iWYZE and Private Property – for giving the players that opportunity and being a part of the hockey revolution in South Africa.”

 

Tournament award winners:

Men:

Player of the tournament: Miguel da Graca (Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen)

Top goal-scorer: Courtney Halle (Old Mutual iWYZE Golden Gate Gladiators)

Best goalkeeper: Gowan Jones (ProGrip Drakensberg Dragons)

Best junior player: Tyson Dlungwana (Old Mutual iWYZE Golden Gate Gladiators)

 

Women:

Player of the tournament: Kristen Paton (Old Mutual iWYZE Namaqualand Daisies)

Top goal-scorer: Sulette Damons (Orange River Rafters) and Tiffany Jones (Private Property St Lucia Lakers)

Best goalkeeper: Nicole La Fleur (Wineland Wings)

Best junior player: Ongi Mali (Old Mutual iWYZE Namaqualand Daisies)

 

Photos by Marcel Sigg

 

 

The Orange River Rafters completed their climb from rock bottom to the pinnacle of the Premier Hockey League, while the Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen stormed to a successful title defence in Johannesburg today.

 

After their extraordinary road to the final, the Rafters took the title with victory over the Private Property St Lucia Lakers while the Cavemen claimed a resounding win over the ProGrip Drakensberg Dragons.

 

It wasn’t the match the Rafters would have hoped for though as yet another Highveld thunderstorm took its toll on proceedings at the Randburg Astro. As a result of the persistent lightning the women’s final went straight to a shoot-out.

 

That’s not something the Rafters would have been relishing considering none of their previous matches in the tournament had gone to shoot-outs while the Lakers had played in two before that point. In fact, the Rafters had not even practised a shoot-out prior to the final.

 

But it seemed fate was on their side. With the scores level after the first round, they eventually sealed the deal with a 3-2 win to take the title that seemed so far out of their reach after the first weekend of matches when they suffered two losses and were written off by many as the tournament no-hopers.

 

“I don’t think anyone would have thought we’d be champions,” said a thrilled Rafters captain Sulette Damons, who finished as the tournament’s top goalscorer, despite missing the first weekend’s matches. “We were the underdogs but we took it game by game and everyone kept on believing and did so well to get us where we are.

 

“Obviously we wanted to play – it’s not nice to win like this and it’s unlucky for the St Lucia Lakers but at the end there has to be a winner and we’ll take it. We had a slow start but as they say – it’s how you end and we ended on a high note.

 

“We hadn’t practised shoot-outs at all so we just went in with hope and luck and faith. We finished bottom last year so to win this competition is just awesome.”

 

Rafters coach Shaun Hulley felt some sympathy for the Lakers, after serving as their assistant coach in 2016. “This morning I looked at the weather and I saw 5 o’ clock thunderstorms – I was hoping it wasn’t going to go to this. It’s not the greatest way to win. I know the Lakers girls really well and my heart really goes out to them. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be better if we just shared it, but in the competition you unfortunately have to have a winner. Our girls did play their hearts out this week though and I don’t want to deny them that so we’ll enjoy it,” he said afterwards.

 

Asked if he could ever have expected to take the title after that horrible opening weekend, Hulley admitted: “I would not have believed it. After our first weekend I was really worried. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the tournament but we did know that if we just stuck to our processes and kept focusing on what we could do we’d get better, and that’s what we did.” The coach also paid tribute to national stars Damons and Dirkie Chamberlain for their enormous contribution to turning things around for the team.

 

The clouds had cleared by the time the Cavemen took to the field to complete their mission of defending the title they won in 2016. Staying true to the game plan that’s worked so well for them so far, they slotted in an early goal – Brynn Cleak finding the back of the net in the 11th minute. Miguel da Graca then made things even more difficult for the Dragons when he doubled the Cavemen’s lead just three minutes later.

 

Dragons coach Sihle Ntuli has been talking all tournament about how his side were managing to make the most of the opportunities they were creating. But that wasn’t the case tonight as numerous chances went begging. By the time Michael Abrahams slotted in a third for the Cavemen at the end of the third quarter, the contest was all but over, with the 3-0 margin finally seeing them crowned deserved champions.

 

“Walking into the changeroom before the game I saw a couple of nervous faces,” admitted Cavemen captain Rassie Pieterse afterwards. “But we said a few nerves aren’t a bad thing. We got ourselves into the final so all we could do was play our socks off and our hearts out. It’s a great bunch of guys – really a brotherhood. That’s what the Cavemen are about and it really showed again this year.

 

“Winning the tournament back to back – I can’t be prouder. It shows a lot of character and it also shows a lot of character coming off the field and not conceding a goal. It’s one thing we worked on very hard – we went for the motto ‘defend to win’ and there’s nothing more we could have asked for,” added Pieterse.

 

“I’m just so chuffed lifting that trophy again – it’s such a beautiful trophy.”

 

Meanwhile, having dominated the first two weekends of PHL action and then suffering two consecutive losses to be relegated to the bronze-medal playoff, the Tivoli Blyde River Bunters, managed to bounce back with one last victory. There was only one goal in it, but the defending champions were determined to secure that third spot. Izelle Venter’s 45th minute goal from a penalty corner made sure of the 1-0 win over the Old Mutual iWYZE Namaqualand Daisies.

 

There was no such joy for last year’s men’s runners up, the Kilimanjaro Addo Elephants, though. Having scraped through to the playoffs after only two group game wins, they suffered a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Cavemen in yesterday’s semifinal. Then playing for the men’s bronze today, they were handed another loss. This time it was a closer affair. They found themselves 2-0 down against the Mapungubwe Mambas by the ninth minute, after goals from captain Owen Mavimbi and Greg Last. And while they managed to finally get one back, via Andrew Manson off a penalty corner in the third quarter, they just couldn’t find the equaliser and had to settle for fourth place after the 2-1 loss.

 

 

Results

12 December 2017

 

Women’s final:

Orange River Rafters 3-2 (shoot-out) Private Property St Lucia Lakers

 

Men’s final:

Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen 3-0 ProGrip Drakensberg Dragons

 

Women’s bronze medal match:

Tivoli Blyde River Bunter 1-0 Old Mutual iWYZE Namaqualand Daisies

 

Men’s bronze medal match:

Mapungubwe Mambas 2-1 Kilimanjaro Addo Elephants

Rhett Halkett and Celia Evans have been named the country’s best men’s and women’s hockey players for 2016. The duo were among the award winners announced today by SA Hockey in Johannesburg.

 

Halkett and Evans emerged as the standout players during the annual Cape Town Private Property Summer Series from January to March 2016, as well as the men’s series against Spain, Belgium, Canada and Germany and the women’s against India, Germany and Scotland.

 

“It’s a huge honour to receive this award,” said Halkett. “Thank you to the players who have been instrumental in providing a platform for personal growth and performance. It is, and always will be, a privilege to represent South Africa in this sport we love. Congratulations to all the award winners,” he added.

 

Evans said: “This award is a symbol of hard work, dedication and commitment. I definitely don’t think I’m the only player who is committed to the process, but it is a true honour to receive this award. 

 

“Being part of the national team means more than just receiving a test cap, more than just being a ‘good’ hockey player, more than having fans or Instagram followers. I’m not about that. It means that every day I am committed to being better,” she added. 

 

Recently retired international umpire John Wright was named the joint winner of the Malik Umpire of the Year award with Michelle Joubert. Both did the country proud in umpiring the respective men’s and women’s finals at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year. Wright was also handed the President’s award in recognition for the role he played in steering the ship with regards to umpiring in South Africa.

 

“I am humbled by all the support and acknowledgement us as officials have received,” said Joubert. “I never imagined that I would be appointed to any final, let alone an Olympic final, and to make it even more special, was to have John appointed to the men's final.  It can sometimes be tough out there, but knowing that somewhere I may have inspired someone else to pick up a whistle, means more than any award to me.

 

“Thank you to SAHA for this award and acknowledging our efforts as officials and congratulations to John also for sharing it with me.”  

 

Sheila Brown received the Paul Richards Technical Official of the Year award for the role she played as tournament director at the Rio Olympics. Meanwhile, Lindsey Wright was handed the Steve and Linda Jaspan Trophy for Coach of the Year for leading her Northern Blues team to the 2016 IPT title and claiming the inaugural women’s Premier Hockey League title with the Blyde River Bunters.

 

CEO of SA Hockey Marissa Langeni congratulated all the award winners, saying: “The awards represent the celebration of our players, coaches and technical officials who continually keep the SA Hockey brand alive. They have represented the country on the biggest possible stages and done us proud and our congratulations go out to all the winners. Our sincere thanks also go to our sponsors – Private Property, Tsogo Sun, Grays, Old Mutual iWYZE, BrandSA, Crossroads, CTM, SuperSport and Sport and Recreation SA - for supporting the #SAHockeyRevolution.”

 

 

SA Hockey awards 2016

 

President’s Award: John Wright

 

John Marquard Senior Men’s Player of the Year: Rhett Halkett

Ros Howell Snr Women’s Player of the Year: Celia Evans

Lennie Botha U21 Men’s Player of the Year: Alex Stewart

Sheila Brown U21 Women’s Player of the Year: Marizen Marais

Peter Vieyra U18 Boys Player of the Year:  Andrew Hobson

Dave Carr U18 Girls Player of the Year:  Hannah Pearce

 

 

Malik Umpire of the Year: John Wright and Michelle Joubert

Stuart McIldowie Award for service to umpiring: Peter Wright

Paul Richards Technical Official of the year: Sheila Brown

Steve and Linda Jaspan Trophy for Coach of the Year:  Lindsey Wright