About the No­mads Fes­ti­val

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

IN 2013, the school’s sesqui­cen­ten­nial year, Mar­itzburg Col­lege is proud to host the sixth No­mads Hockey Fes­ti­val, which features top-tier school­boy first teams from around the coun­try. The par­tic­i­pat­ing first hockey teams at the fes­ti­val this year are eight of the nine core No­mads schools, plus four in­vited guest schools.

We are de­lighted to host our old friends from Michael­house, St John’s Col­lege and St An­drew’s (Bloem­fontein), and es­pe­cially pleased to be able to wel­come the UK’s Mill­field, with whom Mar­itzburg Col­lege has en­joyed a healthy — and very keen — ri­valry in hockey and cricket over a num­ber of years.

For the record, the nine core No­mads hockey schools are Mar­itzburg Col­lege, Grey Col­lege, Grey High School, Hil­ton Col­lege, Jeppe High School for Boys, King Ed­ward VII School (KES), Sel­borne Col­lege, Pre­to­ria Boys High School (PBHS) and Wyn­berg Boys’ High School, with only Grey Col­lege not at­tend­ing this year.

The No­mads move­ment arose out of the de­sire of schools that had par­tic­i­pated in the old As­cen­sion Fes­ti­vals (north and south) to cre­ate a new fes­ti­val of a more na­tional char­ac­ter. It was felt by some that the ex­ist­ing events had lost some of their lus­tre and needed a boost and re-struc­tur­ing.

The cat­a­lyst for change was a pe­riod dur­ing which a num­ber of one-off fes­ti­vals were hosted by schools cel­e­brat­ing an­niver­saries: Grey Col­lege in 2005, Grey High School in 2006, and Sel­borne Col­lege in 2007. Th­ese events were at­tended by most of the top hockey schools in the coun­try and pro­duced com­pe­ti­tion at a higher level than was be­ing seen at As­cen­sion fes­ti­vals.

Dur­ing the 2007 fes­ti­val at Sel­borne, eight of th­ese schools took a de­ci­sion to form a new event — No­mads — to be held not only at first team level (U18), but for U16 and U14 age­groups as well.

Each year, three mem­ber schools would host one of the three No­mads fes­ti­vals. All No­mads fes­ti­vals con­sist of ei­ther 10 or 12 teams, de­pend­ing on the fa­cil­i­ties avail­able, and the host school has the right to in­vite schools of their choice as guests to make up the full com­ple­ment of teams. Pre­vi­ous U18 No­mads fes­ti­vals have been held at KES in 2008, PBHS in 2009, Grey Col­lege in 2010, Grey High School in 2011 and Sel­borne in 2012. — Sup­plied.

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