African Indoor Hockey is set for a timely boost this week as the SPAR Indoor Series gets underway in KwaZulu Natal. The series features Botswana Men and Women, Zimbabwe, SPAR South Africa and excitingly an Emerging South African side featuring U21 players.
It’s the first time that the South African ladies will be in action since their historic and triumphant tour to Europe earlier this year where they beat Switzerland and drew with the Czech Republic. Its also a South African squad with heaps of experience as Jess O’Connor, Cindy Hack, Kara Botes and Amy Greaves all have more than 50 test caps, while the return from injury of Celia Evans is extremely exciting for fans of the game.
Zimbabwe, who competed fantastically at the Psi Indoor Hockey Series in Zimbabwe last year, will look to continue building on their development and their goals to challenge their Southern African neighbours in the African Cup. Botswana are the unknown factor as they take their first steps into International Indoor Hockey, but there is a lot of excitement around this.
The South African Emerging Squad features some exciting talent including IPT top goal scorer Cloe de Souza and will be led by SPAR South Africa’s assistant coach AJ Spieringshoek, supported by Brighty Mashaba and Bridget Kee. It’s the first time an Emerging South Africa will play International opponents in exhibition matches, so it offers a superb opportunity to the fans.
Tournaments like this are only possible thanks to the backing of sponsor SPAR South Africa. Speaking to the Hockey 24 Seven Podcast by Rayder Media, Cindy Hack was quick to pay tribute to SPAR: “SPAR is not just our sponsor, they are our family. We can’t thank them enough for believing in us and supporting us right from the start. We will continue to work to make our sponsors and our fans proud!”
The full schedule is available here: