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St John’s College celebrates a new synthetic hockey turf

On Friday 2 March 2012, St John’s College in Houghton, Johannesburg, officially opened the school’s new blue synthetic hockey turf. The programme for the afternoon comprised hockey matches played by pre-preparatory and preparatory school students, followed by a blessing ceremony and the main match played between the St John’s College and St Alban’s College first hockey teams. It was a year ago that St John’s played at the opening of the St Alban’s synthetic field, and all the boys were excited to see who would be the victors on the new St John’s blue surface.

St John’s opened the scoring from a Kyle Lion-Cachet penalty corner in the 10th minute and doubled its lead two minutes later through a Nicholas Tennick field goal. The second half saw St John’s create a number of chances, but the host team could not increase the score. Instead, it was St Alban’s that responded on full time to score from a penalty corner and leave the final score 2-1 to St John’s.

St John’s introduced hockey as a school sport in 1931, with a total of 76 participating pupils. Currently, the college has 235 players. The preparatory school ensures that all pupils are afforded the opportunity to play hockey during the season, and even the pre-preparatory pupils enjoy basic skills coaching, over and above their own successful mini-hockey programme.

The school’s original artificial surface was laid in October 2001. At the time, it was one of the finest surfaces in the country, being fully water-based and in line with international standards, as is the new blue surface. The new field, laid by Greenfields Belgotex, is also in line with the Federation of International Hockey’s move to enhance the sport from a visual perspective for both players and spectators. St John’s College is the first institution in South Africa to have followed this trend.

Category: Winter 2012

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