In years gone by the hockey fans of South Africa were rarely afforded the opportunity of witnessing the world’s best in action against South Africa. With this in mind, Investec Specialist Bank and Asset Manager is giving South African fans the opportunity to watch top-ranked teams the Netherlands, England and Australia challenge the Investec SA Women's Hockey team in Cape Town.
The Investec Challenge is a four-nations tournament featuring hosts South Africa, world number one the Netherlands, world number four England and world number six Australia at the Hartleyvale Stadium in Observatory, Cape Town from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 February 2013.
As an official invitational tournament sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Investec Challenge provides the ideal platform for these teams to fine tune their preparations for the start of their respective continental qualifiers ahead of the 2014 World Cup, upcoming FIH tournaments and the semi-finals of the World League in June 2013.
This tournament comes off the back of an extremely successful London Cup hosted by Investec UK last June and, following that, the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Janet Larsen, Investec SA head of marketing, says Investec SA is proud to host their first hockey tournament in SA:
“This unique and exciting tournament affords the country’s hockey community the opportunity to watch the world’s best players up close and personal. We at Investec are committed to providing the best possible competitions and tournaments for the Investec SA Women’s Hockey team in order to ensure that they are best prepared to achieve their goal of breaking into the world top six.”
Marissa Langeni, SA Hockey Association CEO, is delighted at the prospect of hosting the world’s top ranked nations.
“This really is an opportunity of a lifetime and one which all South Africans should support in their numbers as it is a rare occasion that we have teams in the top six competing in one tournament on our shores. Exposing our team, aspiring players and fans to a competition of this calibre bodes well for the future of hockey in our country and for the Investec SA Women’s Hockey team’s goal of moving up the world rankings.”
For head coach Giles Bonnet, the Investec Challenge provides the ideal opportunity to assess his squad ahead of the international series against China in May.
“We returned to South Africa with plenty of positives from our experiences in London and have since further outlined our key objectives and targets for our next 24-month cycle in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. I am delighted that we are able to start 2013 with an extremely challenging tournament against fierce opposition in front of the girl’s home crowd.”
Marsha Marescia, Investec SA team captain is relishing the prospect of facing off with the world’s best teams in Cape Town next month.
“This will be an exciting challenge for us given the calibre of teams participating in the Investec Challenge. Drawing on our experiences in 2012, I can confidently say that we are extremely focused on our goals and what we would like to achieve over the course of the next two years. I would like to thank Investec for making this four-nations tournament a reality.”
Investec Challenge - 4 Nations
|Monday 4 February 2013||Time||Venue|
|South Africa 4
|Tuesday 5 February 2013||Time||Venue|
|South Africa 1
|Thursday 7 February 2013||Time||Venue|
|South Africa 1
|Saturday 9 February 2013||Time||Venue|
||vs||South Africa 2
|Sunday 10 February 2013||Time||Venue|
||vs||South Africa 2
South Africa Women's hockey Team
The South Africa women's national field hockey team is the national women's field hockey team of South Africa that participates in international matches and tournaments. As of 25 May 2008 the team is 12th in the FIH world rankings.
Englands Women's Hockey Team
The England women's national field hockey team represents England in international women's field hockey. England won the 2006 Women's Field Hockey World Cup Qualifier.
Australian Women's Hockey Team
The Australia women's national field hockey team (nicknamed the Hockeyroos) are Australia's national women's field hockey team.
Having played their first game in 1914, they are one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams, boasting three Olympic Gold Medals from the past six Games as well as winning two World Cups (1994, 1998) and three Commonwealth Games Gold Medals (1998, 2006, 2010).
Netherlands Women's Hockey Team
The Netherlands' national women's field hockey team is currently number one on the FIH world rankings and they are the 2006 world champions and reigning Olympic champions. The Netherlands is the most successful team in World Cup history, having won the title six times.