On Thursday the Bryanston Country Club was the venue as new SA Women’s Hockey sponsor, SuperGroup, hosted a fantastic send off for the squad ahead of their departure to the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup. The eighteen selected players received their playing kits as well as some words of inspiration from various stakeholders present on the evening.
Peter Mountford, the Chief Executive Officer of SuperGroup, encouraged the players to take their experience of hardships and turn it into victory, to play with heart and to make the country proud. Peter spoke about his pride in linking up with the SA Women’s Hockey team and the belief that the two brands can stand shoulder to shoulder as proudly South African icons.
Luzuko Koti, the Director of Communications and Outreach at Nelson Mandela Foundation, then encouraged the team to summon the spirit of Madiba in the centenary year of his birth. Nelson Mandela was incredibly fond of sport and constantly used it as a vehicle to unite South Africans. We look forward to the South African Women embracing this spirit in London.
Sumaiya Khan, the Chief Operations Officer of the Department of Sport and Recreation, then shared a message highlighting the advancement of women in sport, coming at a time when South Africa has its first ever female Sports Minister in Honorable Minister Thokozile Xasa. And as she poignantly wrapped up to the ladies “You will go out there, you will have fun and you will make our country proud, as you always do!”
Marissa Langeni, the Chief Executive Officer of South African Hockey, as well as Sheldon Rostron, Head coach of the National Ladies team, both shared their appreciation towards the dignitaries and of course to SuperGroup for their fantastic decision to partner up.
With the local part of the preparation now complete, the South African ladies fly to Holland where they will have a few training sessions and games before relocating to London for the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup.
South Africa will take part in Group C facing off against Germany (World Ranking – 6th) on 21 July, Spain (11th) on 26 July and Argentina (3rd) on 28 July. Teams that finish first will progress straight to the quarterfinals, teams finishing 2nd or 3rd will move to the playoffs while the fourth-placed team will be eliminated.
South African Squad
Phumelela Mbande, Marlize van Tonder, Erin Hunter, Kara Botes, Simone Gouws, Nicole Walraven, Lisa Deetlefs, Shelley Jones, Kristen Paton, Quanita Bobbs, Nicolene Terblanche, Sulette Damons, Candice Manuel, Ongi Mali, Lilian du Plessis, Tarryn Glasby, Dirkie Chamberlain and Jade Mayne