(by Cindy Mc Farlane MIC: Hockey)
The first mention of the sport “hockey” being played at Paarl Boys’ High School was in 1922 when it was stated, by the headmaster at the time Mr Du Pré le Roux, that “… during the Winter Season some elected to forsake the manly game of Rugby and threw in their lot with the local flappers in a feeble imitation of the game of Hockey…”!
By 1933, however, hockey was “well on its way to being called a national sport” and PBHS could put two teams with a few reserves in the field. The Cross Cup was an internal competition between boarders and day scholars. The first noted Interschools hockey competition, held in 1932, was known as the Keyter Cup (named after the donation of a trophy from Mr Keyter, a businessman in Paarl).
By 1946, however, the declining interest in hockey at school led to the cancellation of hockey as a school sport only to be revived 16 years later, in 1962, by Mr P Griesel. It was noted by the headmaster that year that “… hockey has had an auspicious revival at our school”.
Then 56 years later Paarl Boys’ hockey has another “auspicious revival” with the completion of Boys’ High’s own Astroturf, coinciding with the 150th anniversary celebrations. The impressive pitch will be used for both high-intensity hockey games as well as a playground surface for the younger boys. By setting this precedent, Paarl Boys’ Hockey is breaking new ground and developing hockey at grassroots level.
In continuing with the changes, the appointment of a new Head of Hockey Coaching was also made. Old Boy Rowan McLachlan will be responsible for coaching the coaches as well as the first team at the school in the New Year. New Year, New Turf, New Coach!
Born in Paarl, Mr McLachlan matriculated from Paarl Boys’ High in 2009, playing for the first team in his Grade 11 and Grade 12 year. He went on to study Sport Management and Marketing at CPUT before being appointed to Swartland High School in the capacity of Head of Hockey.
He describes his passion for hockey as “… working with learners and using my psychological background to implement rehabilitation through sport.” An all-round sportsman, Rowan also plays cricket and is involved in sports conditioning.
We wish him all the best as he joins a dynamic team moving forward into the new era for Paarl Boys’ High Hockey!