Durban gears up for country’s best talent to try win biggest prize money
Not only will there be top class hockey played by senior teams over the three days, but this will also be the first year to provide young up and coming players the chance to show off their skills in between the main matches with the Elite 5’s Challenge being launched at the tournament. Girls and boys aged from U11 to U13 are able to register and play and will form part of this hugely popular sporting spectacle that also offers the very best in food, music and all-round entertainment right on Durban’s doorstep.
South Africa’s top club hockey teams consisting of multiple national and provincial players from KZN, Gauteng and Western Province, will battle it out from Thursday 5pm for the prize money and prestigious Belgotex Elite Club Challenge title. Teams include Western Province Cricket Club Badgers, Riverside Hockey Club, Malik Old Albanians Hockey Club, Old Edwardians Hockey Club, Kearsney Hockey Club and the Wanderers Hockey Club.
“We are very proud to support and sponsor this world-class event which has grown from strength to strength each year and is now a favourite with the top players in the country. These tournaments give players the opportunity to experience first-hand playing on a world-class Synthetic turf surface. We would like to wish all the players the best of luck with their final preparations and training and we look forward to seeing you in sunny Durban on the 12th of July”, stated Belgotex Sports’ Manager, Ayden Shrives.
The tournament was established in 2013 by Riverside Sports and Riverside Hockey Club to showcase proficient top-class hockey by premier players in a festival type tournament. According to the Tournament Director of Riverside Hockey Club (RHC), Wayne Phillips, the level of hockey that is played at the Belgotex Elite Club Challenge is absolutely spectacular! “We would like to thank our main sponsors, Belgotex Sport for their unwavering support over the past 5 years. I would like to encourage everyone to bring their friends and families to come and enjoy a weekend of festivities and watch world-class hockey at its best,” Phillips enthused
Local Riverside Hockey Club’s ladies and men’s 1st teams are the defending champions and are hoping to retain the title during this year’s challenge. RHC’s 1st team Coach and the current SA Men’s hockey coach, Mark Hopkins, added, “It is always such a great event to be a part of that our first teams look forward to every year. The quality of hockey played and at such fantastic facilities makes this a highlight in our hockey calendar. We have seen the level of hockey improve year upon year and that’s why initiatives like these are so important to grow and develop our country’s talent from grass roots level so when the Hockey World Cup takes place later this year, our SA teams will be a force to be reckoned with. The competition is tough but we are confident that we can keep the title and trophy where it belongs in KZN!”
Walk in entry to Riverside Sports is free and the matches will be played over the 3 days of the tournament with prize-giving taking place straight after the final play-offs.
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