Hockey festival gives players rare chance

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT . . . St John’s College captain Thandolwenkosi Mpofu (centre) tries to find his way past Hellenic players during a match at the hockey festival yesterday

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT . . . St John’s College captain Thandolwenkosi Mpofu (centre) tries to find his way past Hellenic players during a match at the hockey festival yesterday

Sports Reporter
UPCOMING Hockey players have been afforded the opportunity to showcase their talent at the ongoing St John’s College 2017 Hockey Festival. The festival comes after they hosted a three-day coaching clinic early this week, conducted by international coaches Kiki Collet D’Escury, Ed O’Mahoney and Gijs Hardenman from the Netherlands as well as Zambia’ Samuel Tagwireyi.

Over 130 students from across the country took part in the clinic which focussed on the basics of the sport. Local coaches also attended the clinic. St John’s College, St George’s College, Falcon College, Peterhouse, Hellenic Academy and CBC are participating in the boys section while the girls’ teams are Chisipite, Mabelreign Girls High, Hellenic Academy, Harare Convent and Arundel.

“Basically, it’s a festival, it’s not a tournament, there is no winner,’’ said St John’s College sports director Steve McDonald.

“We have very short sporting seasons in the country, they don’t get to play that many games.

“A typical hockey season would see a team playing nine fixtures, but in these two days, each team is going to play an extra five games so by the end of the season they have played 15, 16 games.’’

“This is the first one but we have a view to make it an annual event. So we have already put various things for next year and already working on next year’s festival and clinic.

“We had a three-day coaching clinic held from Sunday to Tuesday. We had 136 kids coming and taking part throughout three days and they had coaching sessions with the four international coaches that we have managed to bring out to run that clinic for us.’’

One of the international coaches, Ed O’Mahoney, said the festival gives them a platform to see the players in action.

In some of the matches played yesterday, St George’s drew 1-1 against Hellenic. St John’s and CBC settled for a 1-1 draw as well, while Falcon overpowered Peterhouse 5-4.

Chisipite beat Mabelreign Girls High 4-1 while Arundel drew 2-2 against Hellenic.

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