An affiliate member of South African Hockey Association (SAHA), South African Schools Hockey Association (SASHOC) is a regulatory board which promotes, upholds, supports, controls and maintains rules for all schoolgirls and schoolboys playing hockey in South Africa.
In striving to create an active and growing Schools Hockey community, SASHOC not only indicates the core focus of current endeavours, but also expresses firm commitment to keep on doing whatever it takes to have a significant and positive impact on the entire South African Schools Hockey community. The scope is clearly one of nationwide impact with the implication that despite the delivery of school hockey, all of the actions and initiatives within SASHOC’s mandate will be optimally integrated and coordinated for maximum impact. It is sincerely believed that SASHOC can achieve this ideal of making a difference in schools hockey nationwide.
Laying the foundation in hockey development at schools level in South Africa and ensuring that there is opportunity to maintain the growth of the game, will ensure that Hockey will continue to grow from strength to strength. SASHOC also firmly believes that transformation plays an important role in our organization achieving its goals.
In 1990 the hockey bodies and players started to entertain the idea of one National body for the code. The ANC had talks in Lusaka and Harare with the politicians and sent word back that sporting officials needed to start a process of negotiations. All the marginalised and disadvantaged sport codes were affiliated to SACOS which was vehemently opposed to any amalgamation and unification of sporting codes.
Their respected and well known slogan was “no normal sport in an abnormal society”. Anyone who dared to ignore this directive faced a “life” ban and declared a persona non-grata in the community. I then served as a provincial delegate of EPHB’s (Eastern Province Hockey Board) to the SAMHB (South African Men’s Hockey Board) who started talks with SAMHA (South African Men’s Hockey Association) at UCT. This was where I met a young Steve Jaspan, Alan Corrigan, Dr Rina van Zyl and Bobby Gagel for the first time. All our provincial delegates and all the “big wigs” of SAMHA were present. We had had seven provincial delegations present with Charles Smith representing Border.
We had about three/four meetings over the year which deadlocked most of the time. Our SAMHB was led by very formidable negotiators in Dr Norman Maharaj, KC March, Cecil Blows and the secretary of SAMHB and President of SACOS, Frank van der Horst. After a few months players started being lured and drifted to join clubs on the other side (SAMHA).
In 1991 break away formations led by EP and Border joined the ANC formed National Sports Council (NSC) whose secretary was the late stalwart Mvuzo Mbebe. The SA Hockey Congress was then formed as an alternative to SAMHB. We started formal unification negotiations as an NSC affiliate.
It was then that Wendell Domingo was deployed to do the schools port-folio and met with SAMHA and SAWHA school delegates. After several months of meeting and greeting with Mike Drake, Malcolm Williams, Ken Warburton and Peter Vieyra, who stayed the constant in the Boys delegation. On the Girls side we met with Sandra Jordaan, Gill Taylor and the late Pat Deacon. I recall all persons such as Paul Hendricks, Sandra Jordaan, Marietta Lotter, Jacob van der Linde, Yvette Koeberg, Naomi Matroos, Poppie Arendse, and Thelma Achilles, Elisa Alberts and Paul van Scalkwyk and Digby Rhodes who all played a role in giving birth to this process.
An interim working committee called the SA Youth Hockey Forum was formed. All school hockey activities was under the auspices of this combined structure that was funded by the now unified SA Hockey Association. It took about two years to finally get every organisation on board.
In 1994 we and most school codes joined with the United Schools Sports Association of S.A. (USSASA). We were recognised as the only body organising schools hockey in the country. I was entrusted to lead Schools Hockey through this new direction.
Initially our members were scared and apprehensive to charter this new direction in school sport, but with the quality of administrators we had we steered hockey into one of the most popular and quickest growing school code in SA.
This hockey family grew from strength to strength and we literally became closer in our pursuit of providing hockey for all children in SA.
USSASA took it’s meetings to all major cities and National Parks in the country. Our delegates were Pat Deacon, Peter Vieyra and myself. At most meetings we dealt with the politics of sport and delegates were soon educated and made street wise. As with most USSASA meetings all issues were solved “out of court” in someone’s room.
Hockey soon became the leading voice at USSASA. At one meeting of NACOC (SRSA and DBE) school code delegates walked out of a meeting at Garden Court and refused to return until our concerns were addressed. The next meeting we heard that the Director of Education (who chaired that meeting) had been redeployed to another department. We were then given a platform to address the standing committee on sport at parliament. After the disbandment of USSASA, school codes met with SRSA attending JNTT (Joint National Task Team) meetings.
We thank SAHA for the nurturing and supportive role they play as our “mother body”. Our thanks to the SA Schools Hockey executive, sub-committee and all our regional and provincial administrators for their unselfish contribution over the years in making this organisation what it is, the only recognised Schools Hockey structure in SA.
Paul Van Schalkwyk
Jacob Van Der Linde
Patrick Van Neel
Greet Van Krol
Louise V/D Merve
Milli Van Wyk