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### Nomads Festival: Top Schools Embracing the Cultural Celebration

Ten of the top hockey-playing schools in the country have gathered in Pietermaritzburg for the annual Nomads Festival, set to commence on Thursday, 21 March. Hosted by Maritzburg College, the event spans three days, concluding on Saturday, 23 March.

The Nomads Festival brings together a select group of schools renowned for their excellence in hockey, solidifying their reputation as some of South Africa’s most competitive teams.

Kyle Emerson, the coach of Maritzburg College, is determined to make a statement this year. Despite the school’s impressive legacy in producing 36 national team players over 73 years, including three captains, their performance in the 2023 Nomads Festival was subpar, winning two out of five matches.

Emerson is particularly focused on strengthening their defense, which allowed 10 goals while only scoring five in the previous tournament. Goalkeeper Nicholas Holmes, a standout player who represented South Africa u17 in the Dato Mirnawan Cup in Kuala Lumpur last year, adds depth to the team. Maritzburg College boasts several players with experience at the provincial level, with Siwa Sithembu standing out for his selection in the SA u16 High-Performance camp.

In the upcoming festival, Maritzburg College seeks redemption against Jeppe High School for Boys, who defeated them 3-1 in the previous edition. On the flip side, Jeppe’s coach, Siya Sityana, leads a formidable team that dominated last year’s tournament, winning all matches decisively.

Another strong contender is Selborne College, led by coach KJ Friend, coming off a successful Tony Godding Festival. Eager to maintain their winning streak, they aim to excel in the face of tougher competition at the Nomads Festival.

Grey College, victorious in four out of five matches at the Tony Godding Festival, aims to improve their performance from the previous Nomads Festival. With a mix of wins and losses in 2023, they are gearing up to face formidable opponents like Pretoria Boys High School (PBHS), seeking to avenge their prior defeat.

The tournament schedule is packed with exciting matchups, promising intense competition among schools like King Edward VII School (KES), Hilton College, Wynberg, St John’s College, and Grey High.

For detailed fixtures, refer to the schedule below:


  • 08:00 Jeppe vs Hilton College
  • 09:00 Grey College vs PBHS
  • 10:25 KES vs Selborne
  • 11:35 Maritzburg College vs Grey High
  • 12:50 Wynberg vs St John’s
  • 14:00 Jeppe vs Grey College
  • 15:15 PBHS vs Selborne
  • 16:25 KES vs Hilton College
  • 17:40 Maritzburg College vs Wynberg
  • 18:50 Grey High vs St John’s


  • 08:00 KES vs Grey College
  • 09:10 Grey High vs Hilton College
  • 10:25 Wynberg vs PBHS
  • 11:35 Maritzburg College vs St John’s College
  • 12:50 Jeppe vs Selborne
  • 14:00 Grey High vs KES
  • 15:15 Hilton College vs PBHS
  • 16:25 Grey College vs St John’s
  • 17:40 Jeppe vs Wynberg
  • 18:50 Maritzburg College vs Selborne


  • 07:30 Grey High vs PBHS
  • 08:40 KES vs Wynberg
  • 09:55 Selborne vs St John’s
  • Hilton College vs Grey College
  • 12:15 Maritzburg College vs Jeppe

CS Chiwanza, a former poet turned Southern African sports storyteller, humorously acknowledges his transition from playing sports to writing about them. While he may not excel on the field, he finds success in crafting engaging narratives.