For regular readers of my blog and fans of my thoughts (dad and wife), you would know that I am an avid fan of hockey. Don’t get me mistaken, I’m not claiming to be a good hockey player. The talent I once had has all but withered (pun intended) along with my speed and eyesight. I am a fanboy of the sport that I have spent most of my life playing.
For those who don’t know, Riverside Elite Club Challenge is an annual event where the best non-university hockey clubs from JHB, PTA, CPT and DBN get to weigh up against one another. In any given match you can see a handful of SA players duking it out against one another. This year’s edition of the tournament saw the introduction of three women’s teams to the mix, to great success. The tournament is so important in club hockey in South Africa and had a very similar feel to the old Champs of Champs tournaments of days gone by.
I really had a great weekend. At my stage of life I don’t get the opportunity to go on tours anymore. I can’t really get leave to go on IPTs ,even if I could justify the bill of the trip. This leaves my frame of hockey reference being rather small so for me to play against guys that I last saw 9 years ago was a real treat. Despite only being a weekend, so much gets crammed into it that it feels like a week long event.
I must commend the tournament organisers. The tournament was well run, competitive and enjoyed by everyone that I spoke to about it. The branding of the event and the general feel you got when entering the Riverside hockey complex made you feel very special as a player. Although my team, Malik Old Albanians, came last we opened the eyes of the youngsters of the team as they shared the turf with names like Geoff Abott and Tommy Hammond.
I have some more feedback that I would be happy to share, so give me a shout if you would like it. All in all, a great tournament.