The past 3 months have been a trying time for all and a just generally a very negative time in our country.  It is thus such great news to be able to share this positive story – The birth of the SAHA Academy – The new hub of Education within SA Hockey.

If there is anything that we have learnt from the past few months, it is that the SA Hockey Association as an organisation needs to radically adapt to a “new” normal, and with that in mind a much-needed overhaul of the education structures.

Coaching education in South Africa has been under review for some time, and there is a heap of work being done to raise the level and accessibility to coach education.  Besides the simple need for a refreshed approach, the main aim is to ensure that the access to coaching education aligns with the country wide growth strategy for hockey.

SA Hockey Association Education sub-committee chairperson Robyn Morgan and Curriculum Development member Gary Dolley have been in constant communication with the FIH Academy for almost a year now.  This process has been to consult on the content and delivery of the SAHA Coaching curriculum as well as the Integrated SAHA & FIH Pathway. Part of this process involved observing FIH online courses and workshops, to gain insight into how they are delivered. 

Having the support and the official backing of the FIH Academy gives credibility to our education program, as it will enhance our operations and increase the quality of our coaching workforce. Quality coaches will improve the general standard of play across our player pathway.

We need to thank the FIH Academy for being so accommodating and willing to share knowledge and assist us on this journey.

This overhaul will happen in various phases with the first being the SAHA Level 0 Coaching Course, introduction of the ONLINE booking system and the retraining of course facilitators to meet the needs of course participants.

The 2nd phase will include the introduction of the ONLINE SAHA Level 1 Coaching Course and the SAHA Level 1 Technical Officials Course.  Watch this space as things develop and grow.

The SAHA Level 0 Umpiring Course is already online and accessible via the Online Booking platform academy.sahockey.co.za

We launch the SAHA Academy today on Youth Day to promote the development of coaches within the Primary School setup with our inaugural online course being presented by Gary Dolley.

All the course information can be accessed via the SAHA Academy button on the SA Hockey home page www.sahockey.co.za or directly at academy.sahockey.co.za

The SA Hockey Academy has been endorsed by both University Sport South Africa (USSA) Hockey and SA Schools Hockey Association (SASHOC).

SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni shared her delight at the launch of the academy:

“COVID-19 has changed the playing field and I am incredibly proud that the SA Hockey Association has been able to adapt and launch the SAHA Academy. Now more than ever it is critical that we can help our coaches develop and grow on their education path and the SAHA Academy will play a massive role in achieving this. We would like to thank the FIH Academy for being so supportive on this journey.”

The South African Hockey Association has noted the directions as issued by the Honourable Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa. These directions issued on Saturday 30 May 2020 are further to the Alert Level 3 Regulations as announced by the National Command Council on Thursday 28th May 2020 and thereafter gazetted.

The directions announced by the Sports Minister seek to clarify how sport will be permitted under Alert Level 3 which starts on 01 June 2020. As announced by the Minister these directions are currently in draft and will in due course be gazetted and published.

What we know so far from Saturday’s briefing:

  • That professional or elite athletes involved in non-contact sport may resume matches.
  • That professional or elite athletes of non-contact sport and contact sport such as Hockey will be permitted to train under strict conditions.
  • These athletes are those that are in preparation for the Olympics, International Championships, National Qualifying Championships, Local Professional Leagues at Club, Provincial and National Level.
  • These athletes and staff are to train under strict health conditions, which include but not limited to testing for COVID-19, daily screening and register kept, use of hand sanitisers, social distancing, a regularly sanitised venue & equipment as well as all touch points at the venue.

The directions further note that training cannot take place just yet even though Alert Level 3 starts on 01 June 2020. The Minister announced that once the regulations are gazetted that SA Hockey as a National Federation submits within 14 days, the intended date to resume training, the operational guidelines that will be followed as well as affidavits.

SAHA will await the Gazetted regulations and make the submissions as required. SAHA Members and owners of hockey facilities will be informed of the return to training protocols once directed and approved by the Minister.

It was with immense sadness that the South African Hockey Community have learnt of the passing of Andre “Bubbles” le Roux. Bubbles love for the game of hockey was immense and you will find it difficult to find a person who didn’t enjoy the company of a much-loved figure in our country.

Bubbles was involved in hockey since 1976 when he started his playing days at Milnerton Hockey Club and was a massive part of the SANDF Hockey, in playing, coaching and managing over the years. He is fondly remembered at Edgemead where he reinvigorated the program when he joined as coach in 2005, a school he remained involved with ever since.

Bubbles also was the team manager for SA U21 Men, multiple provincial teams and of course the SA Hockey Men in 2004 alongside Paul Revington as head coach.        

“Bubbles was a dedicated servant of the game and an absolute professional. His love for hockey kept his life forever intertwined with the game throughout his life.  On behalf of the South African Hockey Association we would like to send our condolences to the le Roux family, the Western Province hockey community and to the hockey family at large.” Marissa Langeni, CEO of South African Hockey Association.

 Former National Coach – Paul Revington

It is with great sadness that I am writing this message having received the news on Monday evening of Bubbles’ sudden passing. Bubbles was a very good person to everyone he met. He was larger than life, always making people laugh and he balanced this with a very caring nature that made him easy to talk to on a personal level. I was lucky enough to meet Bubbles in 1992 when I did a year of military conscription in the SADF, which primarily involved playing hockey and cricket!

Bubbles did an amazing job organising a motley crew of makeshift “soldiers” including the likes of Murray Anderson, Roger Hickman, Craig Verdal-Austin and David Gibbon becoming a critical father figure to all of us (especially when it came to getting leave!). We shared wonderful memories together as a Team and I think the highlight for Bubbles was our SADF tournament in Potchefstroom where he played in goal.  My bond with Bubbles grew as we entered a strong and trusting coach and Team manager partnership with the WP senior men and SA U21 men in the early 2000’s. Bubbles was rewarded for his efforts by being appointed as SA senior team Manager for a series in January 2004.

Every time I saw Bubbles around Hartleyvale we would laugh about memories such as his love for Kylie Minogue, his need for a foot massage after a long day and his tendency to eat the players jelly babies on game day! All the players felt his genuine love for them, and he played a critical role in creating harmony and trust within our teams. Bubbles then entered the world of provincial hockey administration and led WP Hockey as President for several years with great success. Nothing was ever too challenging for Bubbles and he was always prepared to listen and help coaches, players and administrators achieve their objectives whether at club, provincial or national level through his position of President of WP Hockey.

Through his early commitment to “serve” as a Warrant Officer in the SA Navy he backed this up through his immense service to the game of hockey and the community in general. Bubbles will be sorely missed. Hartleyvale will never be the same without Bubbles presence but his spirit will remain embedded forever. Our sincere condolences go out to Caryl-Ann, Raoul, Marcé and Gérard – thank you for sharing your Husband and Dad with all of us for so many years.

Western Province Hockey Vice President – Charlene Fourie

It was with much sadness that I heard of the passing of a dear and valued friend. We travelled a long road of hockey together, dating back to 1982.

Since I have known Bubbles, he was very passionate about hockey. He filled every sphere, being a player, coach, umpire, manager of our national team and committee member.

We spent many hours together running tournaments and he always managed to amuse us to no end with his jokes and anecdotes. He was an absolute perfectionist when it came to pronouncing the names correctly of any international players participating in matches when he was the announcer.

On the field he represented the Navy and Milnerton Hockey Club as a GK and was involved with coaching at Milnerton Hockey Club and Edgemead High School.

He was a representative on the MHC committee and eventually had the honourable position of being President of Western Province Hockey Union.

He will be sorely missed.

After consultation with the hosts of all our Regional and National Events for 2020 as well as the SASHOC Executive, we regretfully need to inform you that all SASHOC Events for 2020 has been cancelled. The implications of the Covid 19 pandemic and the ‘state of disaster’ declared by the President, as well we the further extended lockdown, has contributed to a position that we can no longer sanction SASHO  events. It will be unrealistic to host any meaningful events for this year.

Boland has indicated that they are unable to host any of the Nationals given the extension of the lockdown and the uncertainty going forward. The Regional LOC’s have also expressed their willingness to postpone / cancel etc. If lockdown is eased, the further uncertainty of how many people will be allowed to be assembled is also an issue. Taking into consideration that regions will not have enough time to prepare teams, organize transport and the affordability of parents having not worked during this time has all impacted on the decision to discontinue with Events

Added to this discussion followed around that Schools could possibly only open in Term 3. The completion of the academic year will be a priority in all schools and this will place lots of pressure on educators to recover academic time. Holidays (if any) and Saturdays will likely be used by schools.

Any deviation from this directive must be communicated to SASHOC as all hockey events will be unsanctioned. The continued health and safety of our players and officials are critical. None of us have faced a challenge of this type and magnitude before.

Bursary applications and school awards for those in grade 12 might be influenced for 2020. Regions should consider hockey testimonials for those players within their HP system. SASHOC will continue with their HP squads with all players within their system and recommendations have been made for the u18’s to be considered for any u21 HP camps running up to the World Cup.

The South African Hockey Association has welcomed the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games announced on Tuesday in a joint statement by President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo because of the Covid-19 virus.

The Games have now been rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than the 2021 summer, in order to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

"The postponement was inevitable given the global pandemic of COVID-19.  This is a most pragmatic approach taken by the IOC.  We welcome the decision and applaud the IOC for putting athletes Health & Safety first." shared SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni

The joint-statement also stated that in their meeting leading to the announcement it was agreed that the world's biggest multi-sporting event will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The FIH said in a statement from CEO Theirry Weill that they supported the prudent and necessary decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"On behalf of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), I would like to thank and express our full support to the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the decision taken to postpone the Olympics to next year.

This decision brings clarity to the global hockey community and I’m sure it is supported by all athletes who are currently facing important challenges to train at this unprecedented time. The focus today is on staying at home to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The message of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch that “Hope Lights Our Way” could not be more pertinent at this time.

We look forward to outstanding Olympic Games in Tokyo next year!""

 

The South African Hockey Association takes serious note of the 15 March 2020 Government Gazette No. 43096 declaring the COVID-19  pandemic a National Disaster as pronounced by the President of the Republic of South Africa the Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa.

Having considered the national address of the State President and his affirmation that “the situation calls for an extraordinary response; there can be no half measures”. It is clear that it cannot be business as usual for SA Hockey and a call to stop the spread of COVID-19 is a responsibility that we all carry. The health and safety of the hockey community and all South Africans at large is now more than ever of paramount concern.

The Executive Board of SAHA has today resolved that with immediate effect all hockey events scheduled for the period March to May 2020 will be postponed indefinitely. These events include but are not limited to National Level IPT Events, Festivals and International Invitational Series. We further strongly recommend that Domestic Provincial Leagues be postponed to limit the number of contact opportunities between  participants. This measure will be reassessed mid-April and a further directive will be issued as needed. These directives will be taken in consultation with the relevant authorities and will be informed by the state of the nation at that time.

We would like to urge the hockey community to exercise caution, to maintain very high levels of personal hygiene and to support all efforts pronounced by National Government to proactively limit the risk of spreading/contracting the COVID-19 virus.

The South African Hockey Association announce with regret that the upcoming International hockey series in Durban featuring Ireland, Japan, China, Great Britain and South Africa has been cancelled as part of the preventative measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made after discussions between the various national associations who decided that a cancellation of the series would be in the best interest of all teams involved.

 “Although the wonderful KwaZulu Natal hockey supporters will be disappointed that the series will no longer go ahead, we know they will be understanding of the decision.” Said Marissa Langeni, CEO of SA Hockey, “With the global situation remaining fluid,  travel restrictions being announced on a daily basis, teams cannot be assured of returning home timeously and that uncertainty along with the sensitivity of possible exposure to the virus means that this was the best option for all parties involved.”

The series was to run from 19 March to the 03 April at Riverside Hockey club in Durban North with 17 matches being played. For the South African Women it will be a period of rest and work behind the scenes while the world fights together against the pandemic.

The South African Hockey Association like many South Africans and certainly global communities is concerned about the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Whilst South Africa has not had any confirmed cases in the early days of the initial outbreak this is no longer the case. We are part of a global community and our lives continue to intersect with the world on a daily basis via sport, travel, business, tourism and the like.

In the interest of a sport specific precaution SA Hockey would like to further advise that pre- match and post-match hand shaking will no longer be required until further notice.

“Teams are still encouraged to show true sportsmanship and teams are still to acknowledge the competing team and match officials and to wish them well before their game. As such we encourage them to consider rather an elbow bump, foot tap and/or stick tap.” Said Marissa Langeni, CEO of SA Hockey.

Some precautionary measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Shaking of hands should be suspended to reduce spread risk.
  • When coughing, cough within the elbow or a tissue (dispose of the tissue in the correct manner).
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or utilise waterless hand washes often especially after contact with individuals.
  • When handling public space materials (trolleys at airports and public spaces etc), it is advisable to, if possible, use disinfectant wipes on these items also to reduce risk.
  • Limit direct contact with individuals by handshaking, hugging as much as one can.

The South African Hockey Association are calling for applications for the positions listed below. Each applicant must complete the application form and submit a short CV. A short job description for the position is available.

Your Application and CV must be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Application Form Click here

The following vacancies are available. 

After 8 days and 38 games we have two champion sides. At the end of the adventure of the 2019 tournaments it’s the Madikwe Rangers celebrating their first title while the Drakensberg Dragons become just the second team to retain the title.

The Madikwe Rangers had the best chance early in the game when Nomnikelo Veto broke through the defence of the table topping Wineland Wings to have a one-on-one chance with Sandisiwe Tabata, in for Zimi Shange. However superb pressure from Dunell van Taak put Veto off her stride and the chance went astray.

The Wings created their own good chance, but nobody was able to convert after good by-line work from Tarryn Glasby. The Rangers then created another half chance but in truth both teams were defending impressively and the midfield battle between Kristen Paton and Jess Lardant was one of the finest CTM Premier Hockey League battles ever seen at Randburg.

The Rangers did however think they had taken the lead through Veto when she bundled home the ball after a goal mouth melee. The Wings though referred the decision and ultimately were proven correct as the ball had edged off Toni Marks shoe.

If there was doubt in that decision, there was no doubt a few minutes later when Veto fired in what could be the goal of the tournament to give the Rangers a lead. Picking up the ball on the right she moved into the D before firing home a superb tomahawk strike.

The goal opened the game up and the Wings looked to surge back into contention with Jade Mayne regularly pulling the strings in midfield. The pressure would eventually tell as Jessica Lardant got the goal her performance deserved.

That was the last big chance of the game and the 2019 title would be decided on a shootout. The Rangers scored their opening two, while the Wings missed theirs before a turnaround and three saves gave Stephanie Botha the chance to win the Wings the titles. Although she did eventually score it was well after the 8 second limit and it meant that we headed to sudden death. The order reversed and when Tarryn Glasby missed it gave Lise-Marie Deetlefs the opportunity to end the pain of two previous final defeats. She didn’t need to be offered twice as she fired home an unstoppable shot that sealed the match and a maiden CTM Premier Hockey League title for the Rangers.

The Drakensberg Dragons were also in their third final but unlike the Rangers had tasted victory before. The Mambas, who had topped the table were competing in their first final. Although a highly competitive final was expected, in truth it was a largely one-sided final.

The Dragons were tasked with keeping the attacking trio of Dollman, Kok and Cassiem quiet and they did that with spectacular effect. The best form of attack is defence and from the start that’s exactly what the Dragons did from the start. Creating at least 3 early chances before Miguel da Graca, who’s team has made the final in every Premier Hockey League. Da Graca found himself with a little space and punished the Mambas.

The Mambas would have been pleased to get to the half time break only 1 goal down as they had very little attacking opportunities in the opening half hour. After a big chat with his team at half time Lungile Tsolekile would have wanted the boys to come out fighting but they found themselves 3-0 down in just four minutes.

Bili Ntuli got another PHL final goal to his growing collection of big game goals. Richard Pautz produced a moment of magic to put the ball through his legs and find a fine run by Ntuli who chipped it over Mckinley. Pautz turned goal scorer two minutes later collection a ball by Bothma and finishing on the stretch. Pautz goal was the 100th goal of the men’s tournament in this year’s CTM Premier Hockey League.

Ntuli then made it a record final score when Pierre Bothma ran up the wing and fired in a cross for Bili Ntuli to score another final goal and the final goal of this year’s CTM Premier Hockey League final. The Dragons becoming just the second team to defend a PHL trophy.

Earlier in the day the Orange River Rafters secured a bronze medal when they beat the Daisies 4-1 thanks to Zimkhita Weston, Donna Small, Dirkie Chamberlain and Ongi Mali. Bianca Wood scored the only goal for the Daisies, her fifth of the tournament and making her the outright all-time highest goal scorer for the Daisies.

The Garden Route Gazelles were the men’s bronze medal winners with a 3-2 win. After leading 2-0 through Brandon James and Keenan Horne, the Gazelles saw Dayaan Cassiem and Keegan Hezlett erase that lead. Reece Arendse then netted the winner and a second bronze medal for the Gazelles.

CTM Premier Hockey League – Results – 04 August 2019

Women’s Bronze – Orange River Rafters 4-1 Namaqualand Daisies
Men’s Bronze – Maropeng Cavemen 2-3 Garden Route Gazelles
Women’s Final – Madikwe Rangers (3) 1-1 (2) Wineland Wings
Men’s Final – Drakensberg Dragons 4-0 Mapungubwe Mambas

CTM Premier Hockey League – Final Standings

Women
1. Madikwe Rangers
2. Wineland Wings
3. Orange River Rafters
4. Namaqualand Daisies
5. Blyde River Bunters
6. St. Lucia Lakers

Men
1. Drakensberg Dragons
2. Mapungubwe Mambas
3. Garden Route Gazelles
4. Maropeng Cavemen
5. Addo Elephants
6. Golden Gate Gladiators

CTM Premier Hockey League – Individual Awards

Player of the tournament
(M) – Bili Ntuli (Dragons)
(W) – Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (Rangers)

Top Goal scorer
(M) – Keegan Hezlett (Cavemen)
(W) – Sylvia van Jaarsveldt (Wings)

Young Player of the tournament
(M) – Mustapha Cassiem (Mambas)
(W) – Bianca Wood (Daisies)

Goalkeeper of the tournament
(M) – Rob Mckinley (Mambas)
(W) – Mmatshepo Modipane (Rangers)

Photos - Marcel Sigg