Quintin van Jaarsveld
KwaZulu-Natal teams showed plenty of promise in the Ringball National Championships that took place at the Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre in Gamalakhe last week.
The tournament, co-hosted by Ringball KwaZulu-Natal and Margate Sports School, saw 120 men’s and women’s provincial and district teams vie for national supremacy across seven divisions (U11, U13, U17, U23, seniors, masters and veterans) and five days of riveting ringball.
Following Sunday’s opening ceremony, which was attended by several Ringball South African delegates and included a parade of the teams, teams were eager to lay down a marker on Monday.
KwaZulu-Natal fielded 19 teams, including two development sides, and punched above their weight against the bigger unions. Come Friday, the KwaZulu-Natal masters and Under-11 teams claimed silver medals, while 34 of the union’s players were selected for South African sides, who capped the tournament with entertaining ‘all star’ games on Saturday.
A pleased Ockie van Schalkwyk, President of Ringball KwaZulu-Natal, told eHowzit: “We did quite well. We’re a small union compared to the other unions, so I’m happy with the standard of play our teams produced and the results they achieved.
“Unfortunately, the Under-23s didn’t do as well as we expected [finishing third]but overall we did well. The game is definitely on an upward curve in KwaZulu-Natal and that’s exciting for the future.”
He added that hosting the tournament on the South Coast was a breath of fresh air and added to the occasion.
“The wind made it quite challenging for the players as most weren’t used to playing in such strong winds. However, the venue was fantastic and everyone enjoyed being seaside.”
The senior national champions were Gauteng A1 (Ladies Federation), Gauteng A1 (Men’s Federation), North West East (Ladies Under-23 top section), South Western Districts (Ladies Under-23 bottom section), West Rand (Men’s Under-23), Gauteng North A (Ladies Senior A top section), Ekurhuleni East (Ladies Senior A bottom section), South Western Districts A (Ladies Senior B top section), (Ladies Senior B bottom section), Gauteng North (Men’s Senior A), Western Province (Men’s Senior B), Gauteng North A (Ladies Veterans A), Ekurhuleni East (Men’s Veterans A), Gauteng North A (Ladies Masters) and Gauteng North (Men’s Masters).
KwaZulu-Natal players selected for South African teams:
|Age Group||SA Ringbal Team||SA Ringball Invitation Team|
|U/11 Girls||Mieke Kramer||Charne Thyssen|
|U/13 Boys||Ruben de Jager|
|U/15 Boys||Johan Breedt||Kobus Germishuys|
|U/19 Girls||Rouchell Heunis|
|U/19 Boys||Heinrich De Koker|
|U/23 Ladies||Cheri- Amor van Diem|
|Anzel De Villiers|
|Nadia Du Toit|
|U/23 Men||Bernard J V Rensburg||Hanco Coetzee|
|Ulrich Botha||Dewalt Wessels|
|Senior Ladies||Erika v Zyl|
|Mari-Louise Le Roux|
|Master Ladies||Rina van der Merwe||Lydia Muller|
|Master Men||Richter Labuschagne||Louis Van Coller|
|Hansie Smit||Ockert Van Schalkwyk|
|Team Manager||SA Invitation U/23 Ladies||Ockert Van Schalkwyk|