Over 50 schools will compete against each other in the Top Schools tournament on Saturday.
This annual tournament will be held at Hoërskool Parel Vallei in Somerset West.
There will be 14 rounds where each match consists of two halves.
Each half lasting 12 minutes.
Paarl Gimnasium have been preparing for the tournament from the beginning of the season. With one of their goals, being the top three in the country.
Last year their u14, u16 and u17 teams qualified for the South African Championships.
“The u18 teams’ level of play is really high. Anything can happen because there is not a team at this moment which is running the show. Everyone is quite evenly matched, but we are prepared to face some tough challenges,” Renske Stoltz, the first team coach, told SuperSport Schools.
“Everyone knows what is expected of them and now it’s up to them to put it out on court” she concluded.
Langenhoven Gimnasium did not participate last year but believes that this year they will be more ready. They have been training four times a week, which includes gym sessions, fitness for preparation and participating in their league games.
“I have an unbelievable group of children. Although there are only three players who are 18 years old in the first team, I still have a strong team. They have a bond where they look out for each other,” said Charmaine Stemmet, the first team coach.
“There are stronger schools but the last such team we faced was Outeniqua, we lost with only seven points, so we are not far behind them. Support is also important in the team but emotionally they need support from the coach. That is why teamwork is important” she concluded.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu Secondary School will compete in the Top Schools for the first time. Only one team will participate, their u19 team. “The first team is doing very well. One of the best teams the school has ever had” Nkululeko Mhlongo, their netball manager said.
The school hired a professional coach who is very experienced and is confident that their team will do well. Despite the challenges of lack of resources, players such as Ovayo Thumtha Sibekekwane and Bulelwa Nyalela have proven that their lack of resources does not move them. They were part of the Western Cape provincial team.
Kayamandi Secondary School will also be participating for the first time. They have played six games in their league so far, winning only two. The school does not have a designated coach. “We try our best to convince them by motivating them to play, despite their visible challenges,” said Yolani Furunek.
“Our training is focused on teaching them how to pass the ball, we are focusing on the basics since they do not have a coach,” she concluded.
The Fixtures – u19A:
09:00 – Durbanville vs La Rochelle; Groenberg vs Langenhoven Gimnasium; Swartland vs Paarl Girls’ High; Jan van Riebeeck vs Weston; Manzamtomb vs Paarl Gimnasium.
09:30 – Stellenberg vs Kanyolwethu.
10:00 – Desmond Mpilo Tutu vs La Rochelle; Manzamtomb vs Weston; Outeniqua vs Jan van Riebeeck; Bredasdorp vs Stellenberg; Paarl Girls’ High vs Kanyolwethu.
10:30 – Durbanville vs Groenberg.
11:00 – Swartland vs Kanyolwethu; Paarl Girls’ High vs Bredasdorp; Jan van Riebeeck vs Manzamtomb; Desmond Mpilo Tutu vs Durbanville; Outeniqua vs Paarl Gimnasium.
11:30 – La Rochelle vs Langenhoven Gimnasium.
12:00 – Groenberg vs La Rochelle; Stellenberg vs Swartland; Bredasdorp vs Kanyolwethu; Paarl Gimnasium vs Jan van Riebeeck; Outeniqua vs Weston.
12:30 – Desmond Mpilo Tutu vs Langenhoven Gimnasium.
13:00 – Durbanville vs Langenhoven Gimnasium; Groenberg vs Desmond Mpilo Tutu; Paarl Gimnasium vs Weston; Manzamtomb vs Outeniqua; Stellenberg vs Paarl Girls’ High; Bredasdorp vs Swartland.