The First Hockey Team beat Framesby High 5 – 0 at the Greg Bieling tournament held in East London in March. It was the first time a St Michael’s team participated in the tournament, which heightened the excitement about the event.
The captain, Bonolo Letoane, inspired the team when she said, ‘Let today’s goal be to play for one another. Let’s focus on being better players and not on the scoreboard.’ Thereafter the nerves really started to settle in.
All the fun and games stopped when they started their mental preparation for the game against Volkskool Graaf Reinet. The high temperature made it even more challenging. As the team went onto the pitch to warm up, they realised they had underestimated their opponents. Although each player played her heart out, the team walked off the pitch with a loss.
After the match the team headed off to watch St Andrew’s and the Grey Boys play a match. Later that night their vice-captain, Gabby Marais, wished the players a good night’s sleep with a beautiful verse from Psalm 142:3, ‘When I am ready to give up, He knows what I should do.’ She said, ‘We all go through tough times when we feel overwhelmed, times when we cannot think, when we cannot walk the road we have been assigned – dark times. When we are tempted to give up, He will lead us. Let’s think of goals in terms of tomorrow’s game. Let’s work for each other and keep our heads up no matter what.’
The next morning Mrs Lee-Ann Thompson showed that she truly deserves the ‘ Manager of the Year’ award when she treated the team to something special to eat.
The beach was the ideal place for a team talk even though they found it difficult to concentrate on Mr Van Wyk’s words of wisdom with the sweet sound of waves in the background. Little did they know that that one team talk on the beach would help them to win two games. Later that evening, under the shining field lights, they realised that starting the day off with the ocean breeze on their faces had brought them great success.
The last day started early with a game against Alex Road. They all had to pull through with tight muscles and tired bodies. This was the toughest game of the tournament. Unfortunately, they came off the field with a loss. Leaving with two wins and two losses was satisfying. Every player knew that she had played her part.