Hockey Tour to Cape Town

BY Francesca Gottini

Our journey to Cape Town started off  early one cold morning, with lots of luggage, and hugs and kisses from moms and dads who bid us goodbye and good luck! We ensured a cosy trip by bringing blankets and cushions to keep us warm. Sleeping on-and-off, we made our way to George, where we made a quick stop to pick up a hockey stick (an absolute essential) for Kristin Leach and made our first real stop in the historical town of Swellendam. After a long trip, with Abongile Magidimesi constantly jumping up and down saying "Are we there yet?" every time she spotted a mountain in the distance, and Miss Potgieter and Mrs Panayiotou shouting at the GPS which kept taking us in the wrong direction, we reached our destination. Eager to see our apartments, we explored a little, while waiting for our keys. With a stunning view of Table Mountain from our balconies and a relaxed supper at the braai area, we knew that we were going to have a blast!      


An eight o'clock breakfast got us started on our first full day in Cape Town. Our first trip of the tour took us to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Fun times in the Nemo Tank head view, pretending to eat mushroom sculptures in the frog corner and selfies with the sharks gave us a fulfilling experience. We moved our journey to the V & A Waterfront. As we were departing the mall, a red Ferrari caught our eyes. We were warmly invited and welcomed on board a Chinese navy ship and were given a full tour of the ship. It was a very exciting day, especially for Robyn Thompson who may like to follow a career in the navy. We had a lovely cosy dinner at Primmi Piati, where we spotted Eben Etsabeth, who is the Stormers’ lock.


On Tuesday morning we went for a run on the beach and played a jumping exercise with long tubes of washed up seaweed. We spent our afternoon at Canal Walk. Some watched a movie and others had fun in the arcade, where Mrs Panayiotou enjoyed all the little kiddies’ rides. In the evening we played our first match against Rustenburg Girls' High where our own ex-principal, Miss Bekker, is currently headmistress. It was the first match of our season on an astro turf and it proved to be a great training experience. Unfortunately, we lost the game 5-0, but it taught us some new skills and techniques to improve our game. Our opposing team was very friendly and after our match we were invited to join them for doughnuts and juice. We all received button badges with "120" on them, symbolizing the 120 year anniversary of their school. There is a ladybug on the badge, which is used as they are often referred to as the “Rusty Bugs”.


Stiff bodies and heavy eyelids ventured to Access Park on Wednesday. Sales in the  Cotton On Factory Shop led to many red bags and new clothes. Next stop was China Town for some more sweet deals.  We were all in dire need of a Spur lunch to fill our hungry stomachs! At the Western Province Hockey Stadium, we played against Pinelands Ladies Club and implemented what we had learned from the Rustenburg game. We put on a good game. At half time we were tied with no score. In the second half Amore Wannies, working together with our captain, Shannon Dillon, scored a goal, giving us a 1-0 lead. Pinelands Ladies managed to slot a goal off a short corner and that ended a well-played game with a 1-1 draw. As a gift from Pinelands Ladies Club, we received a mini version of their emblem.   


After a grocery trip and lunch on Friday we made our way to Edgemead High School. This is where former Riebeek Life Sciences teacher, Mrs Jooste, now teaches. Back to our home turf :grass. However, the field was so badly waterlogged that our feet sank in the ground with every step we took. Nevertheless, we fought on, and were proud of our 1-0 victory.


Shannon Dillon and Elricia Meyer went down to Miss Potgieter and Mrs Panayiotou’s apartment to fetch them for supper, as we had a "surprise" for them. Miss Potgieter had a full on make-over : hair, make-up and nails. Kristin Leach (hair), Francesca Gottini (make-up) and Elricia Meyer (nails) did the make-over, while everyone else sat back and took photos. Later that night, Amore Wannies’ back was acting up, causing her great discomfort. Miss Potgieter, along with Elricia Meyer, Shannon Dillon, Michaela Balie and Francesca Gottini, took her to the closest hospital where she received an injection that put her to sleep, while we travelled to Belville to get medication from the only pharmacy still open in the early hours of the morning.  


We started our day off with a Wimpy breakfast and then headed off to Belville. We went toboggan sledging. Michaela Balie claimed that reckless speed was the only way to fully enjoy the ride. We spent the rest of the day at Grand West. We split up to have lunch and then, as a group, headed off to the Go Carts where we all got a chance to show off our car racing skills. Our free time was spent playing the games in the arcade. At 6pm we were standing in line at the Ice Skating ring! An hour of fun and falls showed us who could skate and who could not. However, as with most things, we all gave it a go and had a good time nevertheless! Poor Abongile Magidimesi fell four times! We ended the day out at Beijing Orchids with a delicious buffet meal. When we arrived back “home”, we all had to pack up our things.


Our way back home after an amazing week, was a long and tiring journey, with constant sleeping. It was indeed a great tour.


 June 30, 2014
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Francesca Gottini

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