During the Autumn half term, 42 very excited Croydon High School girls from Years 10-13 and four equally excited teachers left for a Netball and Hockey tour of South Africa. Leaving Croydon on a chilly autumn day, they took a long overnight flight to Johannesburg and then an internal transfer arriving (still very excited) in sunny Cape Town.
The girls experienced inspirational training sessions from the South Africa Indoor National Netball coach and U21 National Hockey Coach. The Netball teams played to an excellent standard with fiercely competitive matches; including winning in a fantastic comeback against Pretoria High School – a game that ultimately received the ‘Most Exciting Game of the Tour’ award.
The hockey teams (U15 and U18) also produced some excellent hockey throughout the tour. Their first day in Stellenbosch could have been a shock to the system, with a 90 minute professional training session in rather warm conditions –mid 30-degrees! However, in the afternoon, the girls took on the prestigious Stellenbosch High School and after going a goal down, fought back strongly, with Flora scoring two consecutive goals in less than 10 minutes to win the fixture 2:1.
Despite a busy sports schedule the girls also visited a number of South African wonders. Langa Township was an eye opener; learning about the history of the township, the customs, and traditions and how hard it has been, and still is for those less fortunate than us.
Working together with TAG team on their Community Programme introducing different games and activities to local children was a special experience that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. During the visit, the school delivered a number of donated items, including Soccer, Netball and Hockey kits, plus lots of stationery, toothpaste and brushes. Just this week, we received an email from Mokone Primary School in Langa thanking us for the support.
Table Mountain and Cape Point will be memories that remain with the girls forever, as will the final two nights of the tour staying at Ivory Tree Lodge. They enjoyed four fantastic game drives, both early morning and late afternoons and were fortunate to see lions, white and black rhinos, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes and elephants in a stunning natural habitat.
The final words go to the girls themselves:
“The memories, friendships and opportunities will remain with us forever. We are very grateful to the teachers who came with us, especially Mrs Beck, for giving us the opportunity to experience the fantastic country of South Africa.”