A young man came to Cradock in 2012 and inspired a group of school boys through his passion for the sport of Hockey. He helped coach the only boys’ hockey team in Cradock at the time, established boys hockey at lower grade levels and unified the discouraged spirits of a few boys that practiced a sport that felt stagnant to them.

He may have left, but he left behind a determined few that seek to continue his work.

For three years his informal weekend games continued without him. Sundays are public Hockey days. School Children, old scholars and parents of all ages, genders and races come together to practice Hockey for fun, growth and community.

Having marched on with only 4 players, these “Mini” games grew to a constant attendance of 15 players and reached 25 at times. It became clear that the potential for something special was brewing and in 2017 a few old scholars decided to formalize and create a club that would represent the interests of Hockey in Cradock. Before they had even decided on a name, a number of players from the Grootfontein Agricultural College showed their interest and we suddenly had two full mixed teams of Adults. With its plans to span multiple Karoo towns and grow hockey in all of them, they simply decided to be called the Karoo Hockey Club.

Within a month enough growth had occurred that the two teams were able to form separate, competing clubs. Frequent matches are now played between clubs in Middelburg, Cradock and Queenstown. The clubs are to attend their first tournament in Stutterheim in September, 2017!

Presently the club plays its own matches, but also dedicates itself to playing against any School Hockey teams that unfortunately lack the opportunity to play frequently. We have a tender spot for players that support their friends in other sport codes every Saturday, knowing that they may not have a game themselves for up to three weeks.

The club has kindly been granted the use of Cradock High School’s hockey fields and mostly open practices are held on off days. School pupils are invited and frequently hone their skills further at club practices.

The club does everything it can to empower Hockey at all levels and has not needed to charge any subscription fees to members or school players, thanks to Cradock High School and the contributions of its members with regards to equipment and other needs.

The club has several goals, some bigger than others. A few of its goals still seem somewhat impossible.

Their first priority is to establish teams in Somerset East and Graaff Reinet. GBG is proud to have 4 staff members involved in the Cradock team and comments have been made in jest that we need a Hockey team in every town where a GBG branch is present.

Thereafter, the establishment of a Karoo League between Cradock, Middelburg, Somerset East, Graaff Reinet and Queenstown would ensure weekly games for all teams and encourage influencers in the Karoo to add some financial momentum to the sport.

Ultimately, the Club dreams of assisting Karoo towns with enough interest in Hockey to establish Astroturf fields for the use of their communities, although we require substantial growth and planning through our other goals before we can even consider this.

The man who inspired most of what we have done thus far did not do so alone. He worked tirelessly with teachers, parents and community members to build a foundation. The club needs the support of these same contributors in Cradock, Middelburg, Somerset East and Graaff Reinet to grow effectively.

GBG supports the efforts of those that work to make a difference through the sport of Hockey proudly.