ORIGINS OF THE FOUNDERS’ HOCKEY FESTIVAL
In the early 1980’s the only School Boy Hockey Festival in South Africa was hosted by York High in George. Both Brebner and Fish Hoek who usually participated in this Festival were scheduled to ‘sit out’ in 1982. Both schools wanted to participate in a Hockey Festival, so Mr Des Donald (Brebner) and Mr Mike Eddy (Fish Hoek) decided to initiate, host and co-ordinate a new Festival in Fish Hoek. They called their Festival the ”Founders’ Festival”, named after the Public Holiday at the time occurring on the 6th of April. Eight teams participated in the first Founders Festival.
Initially five core schools were involved; Fish Hoek, Brebner, Potchefstroom Boys’, SACS and Dale. A core school was always invited to attend and also given the opportunity to host the Festival. Brebner withdrew from the Festival in 1999, SACS in 2007 and Fishhoek in 2010. Core School status was given to Affies, Kearsney, Northwood, Parktown, Queens College, Paul Roos, Rondebosch and Wynberg. SACS were also reinstated as a core school. The premise was that the school had their own synthetic hockey pitch and were able to accommodate all those participating at the host school.
Dale, Northwood and Potch have attended 36 Founders Festivals. Apart from the current 10 core schools, 55 other schools have participated in the Festival. The Festival is hosted by core schools throughout South Africa on an annual basis and was part of the Dale 150th celebrations. In 2016 the first U16 Festival was hosted by Potch and in 2017 the First U14 Festival was hosted by Northwood.
Paul Roos hosted a magnificent 25th Founders Festival in 2006. A formal dinner was held in recognition of this significant milestone. The keynote speaker was Sherylle Calder, ex SA Ladies Hockey captain and well known hand-eye co-ordination specialist.
A logo for the Festival was designed and a tie is given to participants. The tie has the Founders logo on it and there are rows of coloured hockey sticks, each row has the colours of one of the ten core schools.
The hockey at Founders’ has always been keenly contested. The spirit of the matches and players is testament to the fine schools that are represented at the festival. The Founders’ Festival has grown thanks to men of the calibre of Alan Monk (Parktown), Mark Rushby (Wynberg), Mike Eddy (Fish Hoek and Dale) and Greg Hawtrey (Fish Hoek). Players, coaches and managers have always been encouraged to play hard, however, without a win-at-all-costs attitude. All those involved are to enjoy the game and make new friends.
Current Core Schools:
AHS (Affies) Dale College Kearsney College Northwood High School
Parktown Boys High Paul Roos Gymnasium Potch Boys High Queens College
Rondebosch Boys High SACS