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Innovation is the key to success. This is a mantra particularly relevant to sport, and one that will be put into practice in October when hockey 5s features on the programme for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, four years after debuting at the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014.

The 5-a-side rather than traditional 11-a-side version of the game, which is played on a smaller pitch, was a big hit in China, and the game’s governing body hopes that the second appearance of hockey 5s at the Youth Olympic Games will bring the sport to a wider audience and increase player numbers.

The Summer Youth Olympic Games took place for the first time in 2010 in Singapore, and are limited to the age groups of 14-18.  In 2010 South Africa took part in the girl’s tournament of traditional 11-a-side hockey. That team featured some stalwarts of the SA Women’s Hockey game including World Cup bound pair Quanita Bobbs and Phumelela Mbande. That team also featured the likes of Tiffany Jones, Stephanie Baxter and Jacinta Jubb who featured heavily at the recent IPT in Kwazulu Natal.

In 2014 the South African boys took part in the first Hockey 5’s competition and finished fourth losing to Spain in the Bronze medal match, while the girls finished 8th losing to Germany in their playoff game. A host of the players that featured in Nanjing have since gone on to represent the country and gain full national colours including Tyson Dlungwana, Kristen Paton and Bili Ntuli, further emphasizing the value of a Youth Olympic Games on player development.

The qualification criteria as set by the IOC stipulates that each National Olympic Committee can only send 1 Team sport per gender. That means SASCOC will only be allowed to send one boys and one girls team across football, hockey, rugby and handball. In order to be considered for this spot the SA boys and girls must ensure they qualify through the African Qualifier at the Youth African Games.

In the girls tournament the sides competing will be Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa and the hosts Algeria, while the boys competition will be competed between South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Zambia

The South African sides to compete in Algiers have been announced by SASCOC:

South African Boys Side

 

South African Girls Side

No

Name

 

No

Name

1

Tain Bird

 

1

Mishcka Ellis

2

Guy Morgan

 

2

Jacolene McLaren

3

Codie Posthumus

 

3

Jean-Leigh du Toit

4

Mustapha Cassiem

 

4

Angela Welham

5

Mphumelelo Maphumulo

 

5

Ammaarah Hendricks

6

Matthew Lewis

                  

6

Kayla de Waal

7

Jared Campbell

 

7

India Hardie

8

Peter Jarvis

 

8

Angel Nkosi

9

Luke Wynford

 

9

Laila Williams

Coach

Sihle Ntuli

 

Coach

Tsoanelo Pholo

 SA Hockey wishes the young boys and girls the best of luck as they look to secure victory in Algeria!

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