The Madibaz-NMMU women’s team will receive exposure at a national level when they compete in the Varsity Hockey tournament, starting in Stellenbosch on Friday.
The Port Elizabeth varsity will be up against seven other teams as this biennial women’s tournament, which rotates with the men’s edition, features many of the country’s best young players in action.
The University of Johannesburg will be defending their title in the event which will come to a conclusion in Potchefstroom from May 12 to 15.
New Madibaz coach Michael van Rensburg said they realised they would have their work cut out, but that the squad were excited about the challenge ahead.
“Varsity Hockey offers fantastic opportunities for players in a number of avenues,” he said.
“But I do believe most of the players in the competition will be aiming to be selected for the Premier Hockey League (PHL) later this year.”
Introduced for the first time last year, the PHL consists of men’s and women’s franchise teams, comprising the top players in South Africa.
With five players from the 2015 NMMU squad included, Van Rensburg said they were approaching an exciting phase in Madibaz hockey.
He added there had been an intensive two-month training programme in preparation for Varsity Hockey.
“The players have been working hard on their conditioning, while we also concentrated on our technical skills and tactics.”
Madibaz Sport hockey manager Cheslyn Gie said he was sure the team would be competitive as they had been working well under Van Rensburg.
“They have really taken to him and he is a very thorough coach so it will be very interesting to see how they do if everything falls into place,” he said.