30 March 2016

St Mary's Investec Hockey Festival set to score

Now in its 17th year, the St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival has established itself as the premium gathering of South African school girls’ hockey talent on the academic calendar. Over 650 eager young ladies will take to the Astro in their quest to do themselves and their schools proud, as well as impress onlookers and ambassadors from the Investec Hockey Academy.

With 36 independent and public schools participating in this year’s event, the four day festival is set to be the biggest yet, growing by four schools on the 2015 event. Hosted on various participating schools’ AstroTurfs, the tournament will kick off on Thursday 31 March, culminating with the final, at St Mary’s School, Waverley, in the late afternoon of Sunday 3 April. With free entrance, public are encouraged to come and witness some of the country’s best hockey talent on offer.

Deanne King, St Mary’s school head, encouraged the public to attend. She said:

“The four days of non-stop matches bring teams from across the country and from outside of our borders to compete and celebrate the game of hockey. Friends meet up, families reunite and new bonds are formed.”

Having launched at the festival in 2015, the Investec Hockey Academy adds to the round robin tournament through its high level of tuition, enabling its participants to reach their full potential as players and coaches, so says academy ambassador, SA player and St Mary’s old girl Shelley Russell:

“The Academy has enjoyed a successful first year with top national players, coaches and professional facilitators sharing their knowledge with talented young players across the country. We aim to see the sport grow, and develop the natural talent we have in South Africa.”

Now in their sixth year of sponsorship, Janet Larsen, head of marketing for Investec South Africa, concluded that Investec is dedicated to continuing their association with the St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival:

“There has been a significant increase in the festival by South African hockey enthusiasts. The gathering contributes towards discovering future stars of the game and uplifts the standard of play among the country’s hockey talent.”

Further, Investec has confirmed that for every goal scored during the festival, Investec will send a child on a bush experience to learn about rhino conservation. This will be done through Investec Rhino Lifeline – Coaching for Conservation programme which is an initiative that responds to the rhino crisis by raising awareness through educating the youth about conservation in South Africa.