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Holiday Sports Roundup - Hockey, Rugby, Soccer, and Squash

WBHS Holiday Sport March 2019Hockey and Rugby Festivals, and our own Standard Bank Wynberg Winter Sports Festival - thank you to all involved!

Monday 1 April 2019: The quote 'Wynberg is serious about sport' may be seen throughout our communications - online and in print - and this brief school holiday bears witness to the immense efforts put in by our players, coaches, and Wynberg Families in ensuring our commitment to mass participation and continued development of our sporting ethos.

With school holidays barely beginning, Wynberg Hockey welcomed U14A teams to our Astro for the annual Nomads Festival for three days of quality pre-season competition. A big thank you to Annette Bing and her team of ever-willing hockey parents for the exuberant atmosphere and hospitality shown throughout all three days.

Our 14B hockey headed to the Somerset College U14A festival, the U16Bs to the Rondebosch U16A festival, while our 1st XI and U16A joined the other age group Nomads Festivals at Pretoria Boys' High and King Edward VII respectively. The mixed bag of results shows the importance of these pre-season tours in preparing for the local league season ahead

Wynberg Rugby U14A and U15A took the N2 to the annual Kwagga Festival, where our strong performances in previous years saw us facing tougher competition and producing positive results that augur well for the season ahead.

Thank you to our coaches and parent supporters for their time and energy on tour, and here at home.

Anyone walking around the Wynberg campus between 20 and 25 March, would hopefully have felt the vibe and picked up on the fact that the Standard Bank Wynberg Winter festival 2019 was about more than soccer, rugby and squash. It was about community and family. Our festival has never aimed to attract the sporting heavyweights from around the country. While we do naturally attract some of these, our emphasis is more on a low octane, high energy festival - not tournament. So, despite the lack of momentum in planning brought on by the difficult timing of the 2019 holidays and the lingering aftermath of the drought induced cancellation of 2018, one can still reflect on a marvelous week of sporting rivalry, camaraderie and sportsmanship. With so much on offer for young and old alike, anyone that missed it should keep their eyes peeled for the 2020 edition. As with everything else we do at Wynberg, we will aim to make it bigger and better and more fun for everyone next year.

So while record amounts of burgers, popcorn, candy floss, and various liquid refreshments were consumed over the 5 days (and many a parent must be breathing a sigh of relief that they will not be making another early morning visit to the ATM), there was much to enthuse about on the fields and courts. Squash embarked on an ambitious 4 day festival, starting a day before rugby and soccer. Under the passionate leadership of Roxanne Groenewald, the squash fixtures went off without a hitch thanks to innovative rescheduling of fixtures and logistical interventions to stave off the ramifications of load shedding. I am confident that the squash component of the festival will increase in profile next year as more touring rugby and soccer schools bring along their squash teams. Similarly, hockey will make a return to next year's programme as the Nomads festivals will hopefully fall into a different window.

Roland Rudd ran a marathon soccer festival over 5 days. The quality of soccer was extremely high and the end-to-end exchanges were far more entertaining than some of the stuff dished up on our TV screens week in and week out. Wynberg did well ending amongst the top 4 most successful teams at the festival. Grey College, an unashamedly rugby focused school, were the soccer team of the event.

A highlight of the rugby component was the participation of San Isidro rugby club from Argentina. They were a revelation to behold and were unlucky to lose narrowly to highly fancied Glenwood. This aside, they beat Rondebosch and King Edward VII School. We hope to see them, and a few other international flavours next year. Wynberg teams generally did well and played their matches in the spirit of this essentially pre-season festival.

No wrap of this event would be complete without making mention of the immense work done by the following people:

Jeanette Muller - overall organisation and event planner.
Chris Merrington - all things online and media.
Rodney Inglis, his Service team, and parents for the parking control.
Jeremy Petersen - hard graft in set up, clean up and management of grounds and infrastructure.
Cameron Shenker & the Wynberg Old Boys' Union - Bill Bowden Pavilion hospitality.
Tim and Fellicity Wichman - entertainment.
Ben Theron at WP Rugby - appointment and management of referees.
Our Wynberg Media Broadcast team of boys - the live streaming of all rugby matches on the Hawthornden.

I am immensely grateful to all of these people for their time, passion, ingenuity, and skill in putting together this event. I look forward to seeing them recharge their batteries as we prepare to welcome Grey High on 26 & 27 April for the annual Wynberg-Grey Weekend, and before we begin planning our Winter Sports Festival for 2020.

Mike Engelbrecht
Vice-Principal, Wynberg Sport

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