The Spur Riverside Festival in Durban – A Hit!

The annual Spur Riverside Festival on 16th June 2016 proved to be a huge hit once again with youth from all over the KZN region with a staggering 35% increase on last year’s number of entered teams participating. According to Derek Field, Head of Riverside Hockey Club’s Junior Division, the number of participating teams shot up to 119 from last year’s 88 teams. The 6 – 13 year old kids who played at the Durban North hosted festival are predominantly registered with seven clubs from across KZN, which include Riverside Hockey Club, Glenwood, Northwood Crusaders, INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu), Kearsney, Westville and Ballito North Coast.

“The proof of the success and reach this festival has achieved over the years clearly shows in the number of kids that participated this year. We are thrilled with the growth of the Spur Riverside Festival, which aims to celebrate our youth on this public holiday in an active and fun environment with their peers and family. A huge vote of thanks must go to our sponsors – Spur Steak Ranches and Riverside Sports – as well as all the selfless volunteers from Riverside Hockey Club (RHC) for their contributions to making this the biggest and best mini hockey festival in South Africa,” stated Fields.

This prestigious event continues to be one of KZN’s well-supported festivals and Durban’s most diarised hockey event. This action packed festival has been running for 12 consecutive years and has become a huge drawcard amongst families, friends and hockey enthusiasts to come together and cheer on the young participants in the name of pure hockey enjoyment. A select number of provincial and former national players were also present on the day to help facilitate the six-a-side matches and encourage the over 1000 youngsters.

“We are delighted and proud to have been a part of this spectacular family and sports orientated event. We would like to thank all the families and Spur friends who spent the day with us at Riverside Sports, but mostly importantly we would like to commend all the teams that participated. Everyone played like stars and brought out their true Spur spirit. The turnout was beyond our expectations and we couldn’t have imagined a better way to celebrate the energy and fun of the youth of South Africa”, stated Clare Rainey, Spur’s Head of Market Development.

The Spur Riverside Festival was played with no winners being named at the end of the festival. According to Natalie Cryer, Head of the organising committee for the Spur Riverside Festival, the objective of this tournament is to provide the kids with an environment that promotes healthy fun and the opportunity to form friendships while allowing the kids to further develop their hockey skills. “The Spur Riverside Festival has always been a great event, where we see children from all walks of life come together to create friendships and memories while playing a sport they love,” added Cryer.

The branded hockey gear worn by the participating INK teams was generously donated by Apache Spur and the festival also marked the launch of this year’s Kit for KwaMashu Kids campaign. This initiative has been supported by Riverside Hockey Club (RHC) and its members for the past 10 years and a staggering amount of equipment and hockey gear was donated this year by participating teams and community members. The final collection of shoes, shin pads, sticks and any other equipment in good condition will be handed over to Inanda, Ntuzuma and Kwa Mashu (INK) Hockey Club at the end of the season for their disadvantaged players to use. Each set of kit donated means another player for INK and a healthier outlet and pasttime for disadvantaged youth living in these poorer areas of KZN.

For more information about the junior programme or Riverside Hockey Club in general, you can contact Riverside Hockey Club at: junior@riversidehockeyclub.co.za.