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Future stars on show

East London is hosting the inaugural Under-17 Africa Youth Olympic Qualifier hockey tournament for boys and girls, starting on Sunday and ending on 28 February.

The winner of the tournament will qualify to attend the Youth Olympics in Singapore in August 2010, subject to each country’s national Olympic Committee selection criteria.

South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Egypt will compete in the boys section and the same countries, bar Egypt, in the girls category.

The tournament will showcase the youth of African hockey and South Africa can expect tough competition from Egypt and Ghana in the boys section, with Zimbabwe expecting to give the South African girls a run for their money.

The South Africa youth teams attended a number of preparation camps at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria as part of the National Department of Sport and Recreation’s (NDSR) high performance support to sports federations.

The hosting of the event and the support of our youth teams was made possible by the LOTTO and great financial support from Buffalo City, the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the Kat Leisure Hotel Group should ensure a memorable tournament for the youth of Africa.

To coincide with the tournament, SA Hockey, the LOTTO and NDSR will donate hockey equipment to 22 schools in the Eastern Cape Region.