Varsity Hockey could not come any sooner for the girls from the UJ Varsity Hockey side as they prepare to take on the mighty Tuks in their opening game on Saturday.
The girls from Johannesburg have been preparing hard for the tournament and have been involved in league fixtures already which mean a fairly busy schedule for the girls over the next couple of months.
Elize le Roux told varsitysportssa.com: “We are incredibly excited for the tournament and the concept will be very enjoyable.
“It adds to the hockey that the girls are already playing and coming up against a number of the top players in the country can only make our girls better players,” she added.
The influence that a national player like Bernadette Coston has on the UJ girls is invaluable.
“It is great that the youngsters in the side can use a player like Bernadette [Coston] to learn from and the experience they gain playing alongside her is great.
“This is especially important for the under-21 players who still have a lot to learn about the game,” le Roux mentioned.
The tournament takes place during an interesting period in the hockey season as it is just at the end of the preseason.
“The tournament falls in our preseason which means that it is vital in our lead up to the league and National Championships.
“This means the conditioning of the girls must be better and having the Sports Science on board with recovery and the like can only benefit the girls,” she said.
The importance of USSA is not lost on the players because it is important to perform well there in order to qualify for Varsity Hockey in the following year.
“We see Varsity Hockey and USSA as equal because they both benefit each other and USSA is the qualification for the next year’s tournament,” Le Roux concluded.
UJ take on Tuks in Potchefstroom on Saturday at 6.30pm in their opening clash.