Sensational South Africa Sports Tour

Posted on September 25, 2018


Twenty one girls had the trip of a lifetime during the summer holidays when travelling to South Africa for their hockey and netball sports tour. Aside from playing superbly in all their training opportunities and matches against local sides from Cape Town and beyond, they also had plenty of time to soak up the area’s many wonderful and eye-opening sights.

The trip started on a complete high from the very first day and no-one thought any of the proceeding days could possibly exceed the quite incredible Cape Peninsular Tour where the girls had the opportunity to get up close to seals, penguins and all the other wonderful South African wildlife. But they were wrong – every single day proved to be an utter highlight. An escorted tour of Robben Island by an ex-prisoner there gave them all a thought-provoking insight as to the appalling living conditions of its inmates, the cable car up Table Mountain, a surfing lesson on one of the many gorgeous beaches, the trip along the Garden Route, tours of an impoverished township and meeting some of the locals, the unforgettable Elephant Park and the chance to spot the Big Five on safari were all only eclipsed by one thing – meeting the little girl whose entire education the sports tour girls have pledged to sponsor until she finishes school.

Long before setting out to South Africa, the girls had decided that they would like to give something back to the community out there and, in collaboration with Somerset-based charity SOS Africa, it was decided upon that they would organise some fundraising events to help raise the necessary monies to cover a young girl’s education. At nine years old, Raynick’s family could not afford any of her schooling so several cake sales, tea parties, film nights and the inaugural Maynard’s Got Talent later the necessary £600 was raised for the first year of sponsorship. And with bags crammed with books, pens and other necessary school items the girls arrived at Grabouw High School to the warmest of welcomes from Raynick and her friends.

“It was truly wonderful,” said Mrs Wood, one of the three members of PE staff responsible for overseeing the whole trip. “Meeting Raynick was a complete highlight and only served to spur the girls on with yet more fundraising events to come. Pledging £600 per year to see out Raynick’s entire education is no mean feat but being able to meet her and see her school has instilled in us renewed purpose and the girls have taken on this sponsorship wholeheartedly.

“Now that we are back for the new academic year, we are already booking the next round of fundraisers and we will look forward to seeing Raynick again in 2020 when we head back there for the next tour. I also have to say that it was a complete pleasure to spend those two weeks with our talented young sportswomen – they were fantastic company throughout and together we had a complete ball. We have all brought home lifelong memories of a very happy and fun-filled trip.”