Senior Rugby & Hockey Festival – A Resounding Success

The recent school holiday saw Union High School hosting its annual Senior Rugby & Hockey Festival, backed by title sponsors Caltex EC and Bothaโ€™s Garage.

This popular sports fest has its origins in 1987 when the school held its inaugural festival on its campus in Graaff-Reinet.

Since then, this 3-day festival has become an annual event on the schoolโ€™s calendar, with the exception of 2020 and 2021, when the Covid-pandemic prevented the festival from being held.

This year saw Union celebrate its 33rd instalment of the festival. As always, schools from across the country participated, bringing much hype and excitement to Graaff-Reinet as over 600 players and coaches descended on the town for this sporting extravaganza.

Unionโ€™s Sports Department, along with the teaching staff, did a sterling job ensuring that the programme ran smoothly over the course of the three days.

“This was a very memorable festival, with remarkable sportsmanship, camaraderie and enjoyable rugby and hockey encounters all round”, commented Mr Christopher Felix, Union’s Head of Sport.

The festival commenced on Friday evening, 25 March, with a cocktail party at The Tony Burrell Union for the parents, sponsors and invited guests. Here the school’s headmaster, Mr William Pringle, bid everyone welcome and paid tribute to the official sponsors – Caltex Eastern Cape as well as Bothaโ€™s Garage – without whom the event would not have been such a success.

Sponsor representatives, Mr Lusanda Mdunjeni and Mr Trevor Lion, with Mr Shawn Botha of Botha’s Garage, Union High School Headmaster, Mr William Pringle and sponsor representative Mr Bulelani Mini.

“๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜จ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ด, ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด,” ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐— ๐—ฟ. ๐—ช๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—บ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐—น๐—ฒ, ๐—จ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—›๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—น’๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€.

A convivial evening was enjoyed by all, catered for by a hard-working team of committed Union parents.

The next morning, play started in earnest, with fierce competition reigning on the hockey and rugby fields throughout the following three days.

For teams visiting from the city, this festival is especially fun to attend in that the young hockey and rugby players get to know one another both on the field and socially in a safe and beautiful environment.

To accommodate about 600 children for a whole weekend is no mean feat, nevertheless, the hosting boarding houses did a terrific job ensuring all were well nourished for the taxing games to be contested with many visitors commenting on how impressively smooth and efficient the entire festival’s activities operated overall, with generous tea eats provided every day and delicious lunches served.

Local participating schools, Asherville Secondary, Spandau Secondary, Union and Hoรซr Volkskool, watched and supported one another’s games keenly, anticipating later clashes to follow this season.

Upon conclusion of the festival, busloads of tired, satisfied youngsters, filled with lactic acid and precious memories, left Graaff-Reinet after a weekend of exciting physical activity.


The Union teams produced outstanding play and represented their school with pride and passion, as is the Union way.ย  It seems that when the white jersey is worn, the boys and girls rise to any occasion.

The results of matches contested by the hosting teams, were as follows:

Union High School won their first match of the festival against the Camps Bay High School โ€˜Wild Dogsโ€™ 53 -0 , while the final rugby match of the festival, between Union and Cambridge High School, was a humdinger with Union emerging the victors with a score of 32 – 5. The game was a fitting and satisfying end for the hosting school.

Union beat Nico Malan 11-0, Riebeek College 2 -0 and Cambridge High School 7 โ€“ 0, drew 0-0 against Stirling, 1-1 against Stellenbosch High School and lost 2-1 against Witteberg.

Watch the highlights from our ๐—œ๐—ก๐—–๐—ฅ๐—˜๐——๐—œ๐—•๐—Ÿ๐—˜ sports fest in a single 2 minute long video:ย
The games played by Unionโ€™s 1st rugby and hockey teams are available to watch on our YouTube channel at the following link:ย ย
View photographs on our Facebook page.