South Africa

PHL gives hope to SA hockey

2017-12-17 06:07
Hockey (File)

Johannesburg - South African hockey is on the rise thanks to the success of the Premier Hockey League (PHL) tournament, which was recently hosted in Randburg, north of Johannesburg.

The PHL was created last year to generate a pool of South African hockey players from high school through to provincial club sides. The competition is a key part of the SA Hockey Association high-performance pipeline, which is aimed at supplying the national men’s and women’s teams with players for international competitions.

The PHL gives young players an opportunity to test their skills against senior national players.

Event manager Emile Smith says a tournament like this not only builds the national teams, but gives opportunities to junior players who want to carry on playing the sport after high school.

“This tournament was created with a long-term vision to create a pool of players who can be nurtured and built into the national system. They will be playing with and against some of the senior members,” Smith said.

He highlighted the importance of getting external funding from structures such as the national sports department and sponsors. He says this funding has helped them rectify mistakes made in the previous year’s tournament.

As a result, this year’s edition proved to be better than last year’s and the high standard of competition produced some fantastic hockey for the national selectors and fans.

Orange River Rafters were the winners in the women’s section, beating St Lucia Lakers on eight-second penalty shoot-outs because of rain.

Crossroads Maropeng Cavemen stormed to a successful title defence, beating the formidable Drakensberg Dragons 3-0.

While the top three national sports – soccer, cricket and rugby – enjoy more exposure than hockey, such tournaments play a major role in promoting the so-called Cinderella sports.

Read more on:    hockey

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.