Report on Tour to Zimbabwe 6 – 7 June 2008
It all started on Wednesday the 4th June 2008. The Cape players flew to JHB and the Natal players drove to Bruce’s farm. We left Bruce very early on Thursday (3am) and drove to JHB Airport. Thank you to both Bruce and Aubrey for hosting us on Wednesday.
We arrived in Harare at 2.30 pm, and after loading all the bags we arrived at Ruwa just after 3pm. We immediately had to start riding and trying out horses. The first men’s test started at 4 pm. We started slowly which in the end cost us the game as we had some of the horses in the wrong positions with the wrong riders on them! Our sections were Gavin, Steven and Andrew and Charl, Retief and Jannie. I think we lost by four or five goals, but all considering, I felt we did all right.
That evening we had a cocktail evening and had an early night. Thanks to all the organizers. The men stayed with Aubrey Strauss and Rory Logan. The ladies stayed with Howie Baker. We had amazing accommodation. It was a great sight being served breakfast by Rory in his apron!.
On Friday the ladies started off first at 11am. They played very well and won by 8 goals. Bruce had time and got the horses matched up to the riders well. The sections were: Kelly, Kerin, Leanne and Dawney, Tarryn and Celicia. ChÃ¨ was the impact player. She was a brilliant impact player. The Zimbabwean ladies have really improved especially with Suzanne Sargeant back in their side, she had given them all so much confidence.
The men stayed in the same sections for their second test. They played a lot better. Retief was outstanding and we won by 8 goals. I unfortunately fell off at speed, which I am sure entertained the crowd! My horse went out and Charl’s horse also went out, this was a huge blow for our team. Our second test went well and Bruce got the horse/rider combinations perfectly matched.
On Saturday the ladies started again and eventually won in a sudden death. Well done to Lee-Anne and Kelly for keeping their nerves!
The men, with two new horses had a day where nothing went right! We were out played and well done to Zimbabwe!.
Retief and Jannie were the better players on the day. Mikie Krynauw played very well for Zimbabwe.
Lessons we learnt from this tour.
Take your own umpire.
Preparation is very important.
Matching the right horse to the right players is very important.
The ladies played their final test on Sunday morning and again won by a sudden death, after leading by seven goals. Kelly and Lee-Anne were the heroes in winning this test.
We all had a great experience and a lot of fun. Our team spirit was great and I believe we have a great future with some very exciting players coming through with and excellent coach and back up coaching system. Thank you Bruce for all your help and I know everyone learnt a lot.
Thank you Helene, you were a great manager, everything was organized so well. Thank you to Wayne Parham, and the rest of the Zimbabwean Polocrosse Association for everything they did for us. We did not have to pay for anything. Thank you to Ruwa Polocrosse Club for the field and a huge thank you to all the people who lent their horses to us.
Thank you to the South African players for putting everything into the tour at such short notice.
I feel that it is very important to support polocrosse in Zimbabwe and Zambia so that we can have internationals with neighboring countries.
If I have left anyone out, thank you!
Until the next tour.