Background and history to Grand Masters
Western Province Grand Masters Hockey Association is an affiliation of the SA Grand Masters Hockey Association, now part of the SA Masters Association. We are also affiliated to the World Masters Association (was World Grand Masters) which was formed in 2002 as a result of a fast-growing interest in Grand Masters (60+) hockey. It is an international organization whose members include nations participating in international events for players aged 60 and over, and is now amalgamated into the World Masters Hockey Association.
South Africa first participated in the Grand Masters World Tournament in 2008 in Hong Kong. We hosted the 2010 World Tournament in Cape Town, which is held every two years. We have fielded teams in each of the age categories at Oxford (England), The Hague (Netherlands), Newcastle (Australia) and Barcelona (Spain). Tokyo in 2020 was cancelled but because of Covid, this will now run Oct 2022. In 2019, a 70+ team represented South Africa at the European Cup in Antwerp.
The prime objective of the organisation include the promotion and encouragement of continued playing by hockey players aged fifty-five years and older, and to promote fair play in all competitions and adequate safety for all players within age divisions.
In Cape Town we elect a WPGMHA Committee, including Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer with two other members at our AGM before the SAGMHA IPT. Currently, WPGMHA has 80 registered players, most of whom are on the field once a week, ranging in age from 53 to 80 years of age.
Every third year, we host an annual IPT. The last one was in Gauteng in October 2021and KZN was in 2022. We aim to field at least 4 teams at the IPT, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+. For the 2023 IPT it will be in Cape Town, and we hope to have two 55+ side and one in all the other age groups.
The SAGMHA hold their AGM at these tournaments, and WPGMHA are represented on the SAGMHA committee.
We have been fortunate to use the WPCC facilities for the past 12 years and play on a Thursday (Summer) or Monday (Winter).
With our current numbers we can field 5 teams hoping to grow to 6 in the future, and are hoping to start a ladies GM team (or 2). Each team has a coach (we are looking for none playing coaches at the moment), captain and administrator. The teams are not club affiliated and attempts are made to balance strengths considering age and skills. A league is run with points and the top goalscorer receives a trophy. We use experienced umpires and meet afterwards for a drink and chat. We also use a Sports Therapist to help us warm up and down and deal with injuries. Furthermore, we have a defibrillator on the side of the field if needed.
This all costs’ money as we pay for the facilities, sport therapist, defibrillator, umpires and incidentals.
The current cost is R60.00 per game with effect from 25th March 2021
Players are encouraged to pay a lump sum for the season, usually for 6 games. This reduces administration and the burden on Captains having to collect money after each game.
In addition, each player is required to pay an annual “Capitation fee” to SAGMHA, R300.00. This is paid to WPGMHA and transferred to SAGMHA before the SAGMHA AGM.