The annual Spur Riverside Hockey Festival on 16 June 2017 proved to be a huge hit once again with youth hockey players from all over Durban and surrounds attending. According to Caryn Bentley-Springate, Head Coach: Mini Hockey for Riverside Hockey Club, 116 teams participated. The 6 – 13 year old kids who played at the Durban North hosted festival are predominantly registered with eight clubs from across KZN, which include Riverside Hockey Club, Glenwood, Northwood Crusaders, INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu), Kearsney, Westville, Amanzimtoti and Umhlali. This year, teams from Ndwedwe joined in too.
“The proof of the success and reach this festival has achieved over the years clearly shows in the number of kids that participated this year. We are thrilled with the growth of the Spur Riverside Hockey Festival, which aims to celebrate our youth on this public holiday in an active and fun environment with their peers and family. A huge vote of thanks must go to our sponsors – Spur Steak Ranches and Riverside Sports – as well as all the selfless volunteers from Riverside Hockey Club for their contributions to making this the biggest and best mini hockey festival in South Africa,” stated Bentley-Springate.
This event continues to be one of KZN’s most well-supported festivals and Durban’s most diarised hockey event. The action-packed festival has been running for 13 consecutive years and has become a huge drawcard amongst families, friends and hockey enthusiasts to come together and cheer on the young participants in the name of pure hockey enjoyment. A select number of provincial and former national players were also present on the day to help facilitate the six-a-side matches and encourage the youngsters.
“We are delighted and proud to have been a part of this wonderful family and sports orientated event. We would like to thank all the families and Spur friends who spent the day with us at Riverside Sports, but most importantly, we would like to commend all the teams that participated. Everyone played like stars and brought out their true Spur spirit. The turnout was beyond our expectations and we couldn’t have imagined a better way to celebrate the energy and fun of the youth of South Africa,” stated Clare Rainey, Spur’s Market Development Manager.
The Spur Riverside Hockey Festival was played with no winners being named at the end of the festival. According to Bentley-Springate, the objective of this tournament is not about winning, but rather to provide the kids with an environment that promotes healthy fun and the opportunity to form friendships, while allowing them to further develop their hockey skills.
The festival also marked the launch of this year’s Kit for KwaMashu Kids campaign, an initiative which has been supported by Riverside Hockey Club and its members for the past 11 years. An enormous amount of equipment and hockey gear was donated this year by participating teams and community members. The final collection of shoes, shin pads, sticks and any other equipment in good condition will be handed over to INK Hockey Club at the end of the season for their disadvantaged players to use. Each set of kit donated means another player for INK and a healthier outlet and pasttime for disadvantaged youth living in these poorer areas of KZN.
For more information about the junior programme or Riverside Hockey Club in general, you can contact Riverside Hockey Club at: firstname.lastname@example.org