Quintin van Jaarsveld
The Margate Sports School festival got off to an exciting start on Saturday.
The opening ceremony was held at Douglas Mitchell Sports Grounds where some 900 learners from as far as Gauteng, Bloemfontein and the Eastern Cape together with local learners were welcomed to the opening week of the annual Easter holidays spectacle.
Boet Fourie, owner of Margate Sports School, Super Rugby referee Lourens van der Merwe, netball coach Louise du Plessis and hockey guru Richard Pentecost addressed the enthusiastic learners before teams headed to the respective match venues for the first day of play.
Rugby matches are being played at Douglas Mitchell Sports Grounds, netball at the Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre in Gamalakhe and hockey at Southcity and Margate Sports School, while Madsen Hockey Academy also introduced Beach Hockey to the two-week festival for the first time.
Games continue on Monday, along with coaching clinics conducted by record-breaking former Sharks loose forward Jacques Botes with the help of College Rovers players, netball mentor, Du Plessis, and Madsen Hockey Academy.
There’s added motivation for netball players to shine as Vision Sport Mauritius will be selecting a side to compete in Mauritius later this year.
The main matches of the opening week will be contested on Tuesday, after which a larger wave of learners will arrive on the South Coast for the second week of the festival, which gets underway on Friday.