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News > School News > SWPS Hockey & Netball Tour of South Africa

SWPS Hockey & Netball Tour of South Africa

13 Dec 2022
School News

After a four year break Cape Town braced itself for the SWPS Hockey and Netball Tour over the October half term. It was as expected an incredible experience for the students, taking in a mix of the culture, having some great fun and playing matches. The tour started with a trip to the Goedgedacht Trust, which looks after children from surrounding farms who otherwise would have nowhere to go or have any education. Our students had time to meet the children, who ranged from babies to pre-school years, and played games with them. The SWPS students were blown away with the joy that their visit gave and it left a lasting memory for everyone. The students had taken donations of clothes, toiletries, stationery etc and they got the chance to see how and where it gets put to use.

After a netball fixture against the local team, we left to play our first hockey fixture at Strand High School. Both fixtures were won so a great start. It was then time for a zip wire over the Hottentots Nature Reserve, not for the faint-hearted but spectacular views for all those brave enough! As stomachs settled, we made our way to our second netball fixture at Parel High School, a win for A team and a loss for the B team, both competitively fought matches.

Next on the itinerary was the eagerly awaited safari, staying in chalets right on the edge of the home to some of Africa’s most famous animals. The fantastic guides gave the students insight to the land and how the animals survive and the students had the opportunity to embrace the beauty and size of these creatures at close quarters.  We spotted and array of animal from elephants to lions, rhinos to zebras; too many to mention. It was then from the dry to the wet and a visit to Seal Island and the next day was surfing lessons! The thought of the cold sea water was soon a distant memory as the students were showing off their new found skills. The afternoon brought hockey and netball matches against a local township, Langa. A draw for the hockey and losses for the netball but both experienced a different style of opponent so a lot was learnt.

Sight-seeing was next, and what incredible sights they were, as we climbed to the top of Table Mountain overseeing Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The previous days had been overcast and the trip was in doubt but thankfully we had the clearest and warmest of mornings, it was definitely not to be missed. Then onto Boulders Beach to enjoy the Boulders Penguin Colony to see hundreds of penguins as well shop in the market nearby. This was followed by our final hockey fixture at St Cyprian’s School, with the backdrop of Table Mountain behind us on a pitch many of the students had seen from high above, without realising we would be playing there. Despite losing to one of the strongest hockey schools in Cape Town the team were upbeat in making it a close game.

Most evening meals were in local restaurants and the overall hospitality of where we stayed and visited was first class. A special mention though to the final evening meal at Golds Restaurant in the heart of Cape Town where the students were treated to face painting and authentic African music and food, another wonderful experience to finish on!

- Seamus O'Connor

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