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Report:  What I did in South African Hockey during the last four months.


Because of the nature of my studies, I couldn’t do as much Girls U16 Festival announcementcoaching as I would have liked too.  I was appointed as the coach of the Southern Gauteng Under 16 Provincial Side, who competed at the annual Regional Festival in Richards Bay, during July.  The team consisted out of 14 girls from around the whole of Johannesburg and Soweto, and came from many different backgrounds.

Practises could only take place twice a week, because of commitments to their school hockey teams. Considering this, they performed really well for a team that had never played together before and barely knew each other.

At the festival, they played 5 games.  They won 3 games, lost only 1, and drew 1, against the team who won the final.  Two of our players were nominated as promising players, and each received a certificate.  The team finished third out of a possible 16 teams.

It was a great learning experience for both myself and the girls, because most of them had never been on a hockey tour, and had never played hockey for their province, and I have never been the coach of a provincial side before.  I could really experiment with new game plans, play formations and skills. 


Umpiring is really something that I love, and that I want to work at to make it to the top in the future.  The 2003 season has really group photo...been great, and I have been fortunate with fabulous opportunities.  During the pre-season, I umpired in the Super 12 league, which is a competition for the top schools in the 4 Northern provinces.  I was appointed to do the finals for the Under 18 girls as well as the Under 14 girls.

My first tournament for the year was the National Under 18 Girls Tournament in Pretoria, during the first week of July, where the top 28 teams in the country competed for the National Trophy.  This is really a prestigious tournament, and is the place where our future national players are chosen and developed.  I performed well during the whole week, getting only A-section games, which is already an improvement from last year’s tournament, where I umpired only 3 A-section games.  At the end of the tournament I was named the best female umpire and got to umpire the final.  For me it was a great achievement because it has only been my second year of national umpiring. 

Next was the Woman’s Presidents Cup in Pietermaritzburg.  It has only been my second time at this senior tournament.  It was a tough tournament, with good hockey, and fierce competition.  Once again I was rated as the number one umpire and got to do the final between two of our top provincial teams.  This has been my first final at a senior tournament, but after the nerves had calmed down and a couple of minutes had passed, it was alright, and a great learning experience. 

At the end of the tournaments, the South African Hockey Association chooses the top 4 ladies umpires to represent South teams of SA, Zimbabwe and Namibia...Africa at the annual festival where the  compete.  Because of financial trouble, the teams of Namibia had to withdraw, but fortunately they could get Uruguay to come all the way to play in South Africa.  The four that were chosen, were me and three other ladies from the National Under 18 Tournament.  It was a great honour to add 6 more test matches to my list of two from last year. 

To end of a perfect year of umpiring, I was appointed to umpire two of the finals at the top school’s league, The NorhtVaal league.  It is where the top schools, who have been provincial champions, compete for the top spot in the top four provinces in our country. 

 After having such a successful year in umpiring, I have been invited to next year’s Under 21 National Tournament for ladies.  This is a great opportunity to improve my current grading, and to get one-step closer to being the best umpire in South Africa!


I have been a member of the Rand Afrikaans University’s hockey team who competed in the annual African club championships this year, which was held in Pretoria, South Africa.  We played teams from Uganda, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria, and were crowned as the African Club Champions for 2003. 

Furthermore I have been involved in the selection of various teams, including the North West Under 15 Girls, who won the National Under 16 Championships.  I have also done a bit of umpire development, and would like to do more of this in the future.  This includes doing an Umpiring Management course, which will allow me to do umpire assessments at national tournaments.

This completes the past four months.

Yours in hockey,

SA flagCarien Roberts

South Africa.

The Global Youth Hockey Marathon 2005

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