The Independent Schools’ Sports Festival is held annually. It alternates between KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The schools from the two provinces are paired up and the players are billeted with families from the partner school. St John’s Diocesan School for Girls and St Mary’s have been partners for many years. On Friday 7 June, the 1st hockey and 1st netball teams, top four tennis and top two squash players set off for St Anne’s Diocesan College in Hilton, who were hosting the 2019 event.

The facilities were impressive: squash was played on four glass-backed courts, tennis on eight tennis courts, hockey on the two AstroTurfs and netball in their state-of-the-art indoor centre which houses three netball courts, each with its own electronic scoreboard.

The organisers do their utmost to ensure that schools from the same province rarely play one another. Matches are played in great spirit but teams do not play every team and there is no overall winner. It is a wonderful opportunity for both players and coaches to meet new people, make new friends and rekindle friendships that have formed over years of participation.

Our teams fared well and the girls agreed that, despite its being held during the examination period, the experience was worthwhile.

Director of sport