Kearsney Launch Number 10
KEARSNEY FESTIVAL: On Tuesday Kearsney College of Botha's Hill launched the 10th edition of their high-profile Easter Festival.
It is a surprise that it is only the 10th as it is so much a part of schools rugby in South Africa, a gathering of top schools - and top scouts, for it is often a good opportunity for those seeking talented players for unions. Indeed, the Sharks offer three bursaries to top players at the end of the tournament.
This year there are 12 schools taking part, eight of whom, were ranked on the FNB Top 20 in 2016. It is a strong line-up.
The dozen are Monument from Krugersdorp, Boksburg’s Dr EG Jansen, HTS Middelburg, Hoërskool Noord-Kaap from Kimberley, Selborne College (East London), Dale College (King William’s Town), Queen’s College (Queenstown), Hoërskool Framesby (Port Elizabeth), Glenwood High School and hosts Kearsney College from KwaZulu-Natal and newcomers to the festival are Pretoria Boys High and HTS Drostdy, the strong Worcester school who had five players in last year's Boland side at Craven Week. In fact these 12 schools sent 65 players to the Craven Week in 2016.
Writing on the festival, Sharks CEO and a great former Springbok captain, Gary Teichmann said the strength, success and reputation of the festival was evident from the calibre of schools participating each year. “The best schoolboy players compete against each other over a few days in a festival that attracts top coaches, scouts and fans from across the country."
The festival is played over Easter, 13-17 April 2017. There are three playing days - Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday and Easter Monday - with six senior matches each day.
In addition there will be matches between primary schools to start each days play. The primary school teams are Highbury, Westville Senior Primary, Umhlali and the KwaZulu-Natal Ibutho/Mark Godefroy Under-13 development team.
In his speech at the launch, Kearsney headmaster, Elwyn van Ardweg, announced that for the first time there would be live-streaming with professional commentary.
Etienne Fynn, managing director of The Sharks Academy and a former Springbok, said the Sharks and Sharks Academy continued to benefit from the festival through the number of players who chose to follow a possible path into the professional ranks through them.
Festival organiser Mouton Badenhorst said sporting events such as these called on discipline, commitment, innovation and leadership from players - the human qualities required to build a better future for all.
The organisers have appealed to supporters to take new or good condition second-hand rugby kit and clothing to the festival, which can be left in designated collections bins on campus. Contributions to the ‘Boots and Balls’ outreach initiative, which was started two years ago, will be handed over to the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union’s Development Programme during the closing ceremony. The items are sorted, repaired and distributed to development teams throughout the province.
Every effort is made to provide a family-friendly environment at the festival, offering entertainment for the very young to the seasoned enthusiast. There will be food outlets, a refreshment tent and fun KidZone for those wanting to enjoy a full day of entertaining rugby. Gate entrance is R20 per person and ample parking will be available.
Capacity crowds are again expected.
Day 1: Thursday, 13 April 2017
08.30: Umhlali Prep vs KZN Ibutho / Mark Godefroy U13
09.30: Kearsney College vs HTS Drostdy
10.45: Selborne College vs Dr EG Jansen
12.00: Queen’s College vs Pretoria Boys High School
13.15: Hoërskool Monument vs Dale College
14.30: Glenwood High School vs Hoërskool Framesby
15.45: HTS Middelburg vs Hoërskool Noord-Kaap
Day 2: Saturday, 15 April 2017
08.30: Westville Senior Primary vs KZN Ibutho / Mark Godefroy U13
09.30: Hoërskool Noord-Kaap vs Queen’s College
10.45: Selborne College vs Pretoria Boys High School
12.00: Kearsney College vs Hoërskool Framesby
13.15: Dr EG Jansen vs Glenwood High School
14.30: Dale College vs HTS Drostdy
15.45: Hoërskool Monument vs HTS Middelburg:
Day 3: Monday, 17 April 2017
08.30: Highbury Preparatory vs KZN Ibutho / Mark Godefroy U13
09.30: HTS Drostdy vs Pretoria Boys High School
10.45: Hoërskool Framesby vs Dr EG Jansen
12.00: HTS Middelburg vs Dale College
13.15: Glenwood High School vs Hoërskool Noord-Kaap
14.30: Selborne College vs Hoërskool Monument
15.45: Kearsney College vs Queen’s College