1st XI Cricket Tour to South Africa
An amazing week of cricket, charity work, culture and camaraderie, was enjoyed by a 13-man squad of cricketers chosen from Years 10 to 13, accompanied by Mr Stuart and Mr Schofield.
Within 24 hours of landing, the tour party had visited Langa, a nearby township, where the boys experienced life on the streets and lunch in a lively African restaurant, La Lupa.
Shortly after lunch, we travelled to nearby Lagunya where we played against a mixed aged boys team. Whilst our innings progressed seven of the squad devised small sided games and activities, splitting up the 100 children into coaching groups. These children were part of the Songelizwe charity that HCS pupils and staff had so kindly donated monies to during the non-uniform and Olympic themed day on February 10th. The equipment was gratefully received and I know this will be treasured, put to good use for so many young children and inspire the next generation of sportsmen and women. The tour took in a daily routine of training, sight-seeing and match play.
In all, 4 matches were played – a record of won 1, lost 3, reflected the very strong opposition we played against – yet the challenge will have provided the squad with a knowledge and determination to continue to work on their individual games and improve as a team for the forthcoming season. A playing highlight was the day/night match against Bergvliet High, where we played in coloured clothing under footlights.
Our visit to Robben Island was a significant moment during the tour, enabling the group to consider and understand the history of South Africa and the role of Nelson Mandela and many other political prisoners in shaping the future of the country. Other memories were the cable-car ride to the top of Table Mountain , surfing at one of the many glorious beaches surrounding Cape Town, watching a 50 over match at Newlands cricket ground with the mountain forming a dramatic backdrop to an inspiring place to play and watch, as well as a trip out to Stellenbosch (dropping into a duck farm with over a 1000 ducks, having a tour and presentation on the history of the farm).
It was certainly a challenging tour yet a very important one to the all-round development of young people and cricketers, who will have learnt a lot about themselves as well as life in the ‘new’ South Africa.