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64 teams to duel for Cape Town International Hockey Tournament titles

By Avuyile Sawula , in Hockey | Featured Hockey | News , at 2024-07-09 Tags: , ,

This week, Cape Town plays host to 64 schools, who will do battle for the silverware in the popular, highly anticipated Cape Town International Hockey Tournament, which gets underway in the Mother City on Wednesday morning.

The tournament’s opening match will see last year’s fifth-place finishers, Paarl Gimnasium, taking on Namibia’s Windhoek Gimnasium at 08:15 on the Woodlands Astroturf at Bishops Diocesan College.

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The annual tournament, which is entering its 19th year, will be held at nine different venues across the city. The boys’ and girls’ finals are scheduled for Sunday, on the Maties Astroturf, in Stellenbosch.

Pool matches will be played at the South African College High School (SACS), Bishops, Rustenburg Girls’ High, Beaumont Primary School, Somerset College, Rhenish Girls’ High, Parel Vallei High School, and Maties.

When it began in 2003, the tournament was an initiative to pit South African schools against top teams from overseas, with an aim to grow the game and create much-needed exposure for it.

Now, out of the 64 teams, 25 percent are international sides, while 20 percent are South African regional teams. The bulk of the schools are from the Western Cape.

The event format splits the traditionally stronger teams into the Elite section, while the remainder of the schools compete in the Evolve section.

In last year’s tournament, in an all-UK final, Millfield Green Stripe won the girls’ Elite section, beating Kingston Grammar in a heated final at the Hartleyvale Astroturf, before SACS got one over Paarl Boys’ High to claim the top honours in the boys’ section.

In the Evolve section, St Paul’s College (girls) and Reddam House Constantia (boys) reigned supreme.

It won’t be an easy ride for any team this year, but SACS, in their title defence, appear to have a favourable draw in Pool B, where they’ll face Bridge House, Curro Durbanville, the UK’s Repton B, and Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool.

Reddam, after winning the Evolve section in 2023, has been promoted to the big league and, in Pool C, they will take on Outeniqua, Repton A (UK), Somerset College, and Paul Roos Gimnasium.

Pool A will be contested by last year’s silver medallists, Paarl Boys’ High, along with Parel Vallei, Stewart’s Melville College (Edinburgh), Windhoek High School, and Worcester Gimnasium.

Paarl Gimnasium and Durbanville High School are the favourites to make it through from Pool D, but they’ll have to go through Uppingham (Oakham, UK), Windhoek Gymnasium, and a Western Province Invitational side.

The format of the tournament is simple with the top two teams in each pool after the round-robin stages progressing to the quarterfinals on Friday night.

Photo credits: Cape Town International Hockey Tournament
Photo: Cape Town International Hockey Tournament

In the girls’ Elite section, new champions will be crowned, with Millfield Green Stripe missing from this year’s showpiece.

St Paul’s College, after winning the Evolve section last year, was also promoted and will set their sights on making the most of their time in the big league.

On a quest to add another title, they’ll face the 2024 Belgotex Easter Hockey Festival champions, Somerset College, along with Kempton Park, Durbanville High School, and AKS Lytham (St Anne’s, UK).

Pool B will see the visiting Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool and Clifton College (Bristol, UK) go up against Belville, Paarl Girls’ High, and Parel Vallei.

Curro Durbanville, after struggling in last year’s event, will be out for redemption. Their task won’t be easy, though, as they tackle Paarl Gimnasium, Windhoek High School, Worcester Gimnasium and Uppingham (Oakham, UK) in Pool C.

Springfield Convent School and Rustenburg Girls’ High will fancy their chances of progressing from Pool D. They’ll face the stern challenges of Outeniqua, Windhoek Gymnasium and Zimbabwe’s Chisipite.

Click the link for all the fixtures: Cape Town International Hockey Tournament fixtures

Avuyile Sawula