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2002 Peterhouse Girls Hockey Tour to Cape Town

23 April 6 may 2002

Touring Team:
Donna-Leigh Ackerman, Tamryn Bailey, Susan Cloete, Breanna Curtis, Rutendo Hatendi
Emma Jackson, Kirsten Marx, Ngaatengwe Mataswa, Nicola Pattison, Kirsty Querl
Angela Raynor (Captain), Geraldine Raynor, Karen Speight, Rosanne Thornycroft
Miss S. Barrington (Coach)
Mrs. S.M. Davies (Manager)

Coaching clinics
The tour began with coaching clinics held on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 April at the Mugamba Stadium Astroturf in Harare. These sessions were conducted by Mr. C. Davison of Peterhouse, who gave the girls a great deal of very useful coaching in skills, tactics and what to expect from South African hockey playing. On Wednesday afternoon all returned to PHG for a grass coaching session, a kit check and a braai at Mr. and Mrs. Davies' house, and an early night as we were up and in the bus to the airport by 4 a.m. on the following day.

The trip
The trip to Johannesburg was uneventful apart from a dangerous weapon - a pair of dividers - being confiscated from Susan Cloete's hand luggage, and we were met at Johannesburg by Chris of Aventours who got us to the station in good time to catch the train to Cape Town. Too good a time, in fact, as we ended up on J'oburg Platform 23 for 11 hrs, surrounded by luggage. The train duly arrived, and the compartments packed with luggage and girls. Some set off to explore the train and found that the dining car had chairs covered in the same fabric of the Dame Molly Court curtains; and that there was a section of the 'Blue Train' with us, with very luxurious furnishings and a "proper" dining car and lounge with free chocolates and snacks. We had "BJs" - a fast food chain - and ate hamburgers for meals all the way to Cape Town.
All went well till we got to Worsley where we discovered that a) the train was late, and b) Emma's big tour bag had been stolen while we were at lunch, through an open window. Fortunately one of the girls saw it being taken along the platform. The train security was alerted and the Worsley police had recovered it within half an hour. Unfortunately Tammy's sleeping bag, taken at the same time, was not found. This event put a dampener on the girls and they were all much more careful with belongings afterwards, for a day or two at least.

Arrival in Cape Town
Our arrival at Cape Town station, 21 hours late, was an eye opener. We had to walk along a very long platform to get to the departure gate (exhausting); the Raynors were waiting to meet us with a minibus (relief); there was a sjambok fight between two men in the middle of our luggage (shock) and we were adopted by a bergie who "helped" load the kombi, called the girls "sweetheart" and kissed the bus windows next to Donna as we drove off (hysterical giggles).

Rhenish School
Within 15 minutes of our arrival at Stellenbosch we were on the University Astro playing Rhenish School. We lost this match 0-3 but would probably have beaten the team had we not been so rushed and disoriented. After the match we found our very comfortable accommodation in Stellenbosch, contacted the local police who arranged to get Emma's bag from Worsley to Stellenbosch, and had an early night after eating supper in front of the T.V.

On Saturday, we were up early on a cold morning to get to Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town to play Wynberg at 9 a.m. On arrival we discovered that the U16 and U18 Trials would be on till 12.30, so we spent the waiting time at the Aquarium. Rosanne was feeling very unwell, probably suffering from malaria, so she spent the day at the Raynor's holiday home, sleeping. The Wynberg game was not an especially good one and we lost 1-2.
In the afternoon the weather had cleared so we took the cable car up Table Mountain and walked along the top to Maclear's Beacon. It was further than it looked, but the views were spectacular and worth the effort. Some of the girls tried to become part of a Nokia advertisement but only succeeded in posing with the male model. We shall be looking out for that ad in the future.

Our coaching clinic took place on Sunday morning at Maties Astroturf, where we met Mrs. King who had organised the South African end of the tour. During the practice, Mrs. Davies moved all the bags to CBC which is where we spent the rest of the time. There was no room for the girls and all the kit in the Kombi at once. CBC was adequate but the Peterhouse Girls' D Block was palatial by comparison and Mrs. Davies was dismayed to find that cooking facilities consisted only of six huge gas rings and four large pots, with no kitchen utensils at all, not even a tin opener. Consequently we ate out more than anticipated. That evening after a rather scratch supper, we all went to the Students Union to see 'A Beautiful Mind'.
We had another practice at Maties, which by now we were beginning to feel was our home field, on Monday, and then we went off to shop to Tyger Valley which we found very easily due to Miss Barrington's skill at navigation and which kept everyone happy shopping there or at the Sportsman's Warehouse for the rest of the day. The ride home was filled with excited bargain news, and we had a parade of purchases when we got back, followed by supper at a fish restaurant or a pizza parlour; the team split in half for this meal.

Tuesday - Uitkyk
On Tuesday we were fortunate to get a private tour at Uitkyk, one of the oldest wine farms in the Stellenbosch district, where the wine master, a lady, gave us a talk on wine making as a career; we sampled some new Shiraz and walked round the 18thC Georgian-Cape-Dutch homestead and saw some restored murals at the entrance. After a lazy afternoon back at CBC we returned to Maties to play Boland Ladies B, a provincial side which we beat 4-1. This was a very good match well balance despite the score, and in which the girls tried out their new skills and set pieces.

Wednesday - Strand
We had a late start on Wednesday as by now the girls were beginning to feel the strain of so much travelling and new experiences, eventually going to the beach at Strand. It was a warm day but the sea was still cold. In the afternoon we drove to Cape Town to play Central Hockey Club at Vygies Stadium in Athlone. We lost 2-3 after being 2 goals up. In the end experience was on the ladies' side. It was quite surprising to discover that one of the Central ladies was fifty and still playing competitive hockey. After snacks, drinks and a presentation from Central Hockey Club, we went to the Waterfront where we were hosted by Tim Cumming and his wife Sandy. Tim is a past head boy of Peterhouse. The size of the pizzas was amazing - we brought back twelve doggie bags. Even Kirsty had to admit defeat.

Thursday - ice skating and Bloemhof
Next day we went ice skating at Goodwood, a new experience for most of the girls. Kirsten skates like a pro, backwards even, while most of us were still clinging to the rail but eventually everyone got into the centre of the ice for a team photo. We played Bloemhof that evening - a very fast slick game which we lost 0-2, but which was probably the best game of the tour.

Friday - Herschel
Our final hockey match on Friday was at the UCT Astroturf where we played against Herschel, reputedly the best hockey playing school in the Cape. We lost 0-4, but were not disgraced at all, and the host parents were very complimentary about our girls' skills and sportsmanship.
After a night of home hospitality with long lost relations or friends, we reassembled at Hartleyvale to watch the U21 Provincial semi finals. The games were very educational but not very exciting as the results were eventually settled by penalty flicks. We had a celebratory end of tour meal at the Tavern at Stellenbosch, with the Raynors, and hundreds of tanked up Ikeys & Maties who were celebrating the 8 all draw of the annual Intervarsity rugby match. It was all very loud, cheerful and uninhibited but we were careful to get the girls back to CBC before the evening degenerated.

The trip home
Finally, the long two day trip home. This was rather an anticlimax, but a welcome opportunity to sleep and for some, like Ngaa, to work. The train was late getting to J'oburg and as a result we were unable to meet Warren van Rooyen, as planned, but the girls found enough to occupy themselves at the airport and were pleased to get onto the plane and relax on the flight back to Harare.

It was a very successful tour. The results may disappoint some, but the standard of our playing has been lifted considerably and the girls have gained in confidence in themselves and as a team. They were fun to be with, they were good ambassadors for the school and Zimbabwe, and they enjoyed themselves at everything they tried. We are very grateful to parents who paid for the tour, to the contributors to all the fund raising, to Mrs. King for co-ordinating our matches, to ex Petreans who came to watch us play, and, above all, to Humph and Penny Raynor who organised all the fundraising and were our Cape Town life line while we were on tour. They booked the kombi, lent us money when the banks were closed, did the washing and supported every game. Without them this tour would not have been possible and I should like to thank them most sincerely for all their help.


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