South Africa Hockey Tour - Day 1 - 4

South Africa Hockey Tour - Day 1 - 4

South Africa Hockey Tour - Day 1 - 4

PUBLISHED 07 July 2024

After the first of many squad photos outside school in our fantastic tour kit provided by our tour sponsors Questa, Store Electric, Booth Dispensers, and Waterside Motors 32 excited pupils and 5 staff set off on their tour to South Africa looking forward to playing in an International Hockey Tournament in Cape Town and the many fun activities planned.


After a long flight via Frankfurt we arrived safely at our first destination, Johannesburg and transferred to the High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria. After food and a rest we enjoyed our first training session together as squads on the blue water-based Astro at the University and looked to get the flight out of our legs and start our tournament preparation.


After a much needed nights sleep Day 3 started with our last training session where we worked on our set pieces and systems of play and set out our plans for the hockey matches ahead. The afternoon saw us visit Lesedi Cultural Village.

We enjoyed a traditional Zulu welcome and drink whilst several of the group had their faces painted and then the whole group were given a lesson in tribal drumming where some girls ( and staff ) demonstrated more rhythm than others! A tour of the various tribal villages followed, the highlight of which was Olivia M being married off for 26 cows and being given a blanket and hat to denote her change of marital status. A very entertaining demonstration of tribal dancing was followed by a fabulous meal which saw the girls eat crocodile and antelope although we didn’t identify what the meat was until after they had enjoyed it!


Day 4 saw us leave Pretoria and head for the B National Park for one of the highlights of the trip the game drives. On the way we stopped at a traditional market when the girls had a chance to use their bartering skills to buy souvenirs. Some of the group were very good and came away with lots of bargain souvenirs while others we not as good and paid a lot more for their souvenirs!  We continued to the Ivory Tree Games lodge our superb accommodation for the night and were treated to a wonderful three course lunch and then it was out for our first Game drive. After 3 hours out on the vast plains everyone returned thrilled to have seen giraffes, elephants, zebra, hippo and lots more roaming wild in their natural habitat.


We now look forward to another game drive and our first hockey match tomorrow 

AUTHOR: Kay Hanham
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