Oakhill’s 4th annual Waterfront Chukka Festivals, which have helped to put water polo back on the map in the Garden Route, are set to take place from 19 to 22 February (Prep School) and 27 February to 1 March (College). Registration is on the Thursday evening, with games commencing on the respective Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
According to Oakhill’s festival organiser, Terri Pautz, 49 teams from 29 schools all over South Africa have confirmed their participation this year, an increase of 12 teams compared to last year. The two events are the only open-water water polo festivals of their kind in Africa and will be held at the Knysna Waterfront in two specially made floating arenas.
“The festivals have wide appeal and expose hundreds of visitors to Knysna every year,” says Oakhill headmaster, Shane Kidwell. “They are fantastic spectator events and we urge Knysna residents to go down to the Waterfront to support the children playing and enjoy some excellent sporting entertainment.”
Kidwell says that this year the events will have over 700 participants staying in Knysna as well as coaches, teachers and parents.
“The festivals therefore make a very positive contribution to the local economy, with thousands of Rands spent on accommodation, catered food and restaurants.
“The aim of the festivals is to grow the sport and give the players a great experience. They also help to showcase one of Knysna’s greatest tourism assets. The Waterfront provides a fantastic venue and the support from Knysna residents creates a wonderful atmosphere.”
Schools participating across the Prep and College festivals this year include: Crawford (Johannesburg); Cannons Creek, Camps Bay High, Fishhoek High School, Llandudno Primary, Parklands College, Pinelands, Pinehurst Primary, Reddam House Prep, Reddam House College, Sun Valley Primary, WPPS, Wynberg Girls Junior, Wynberg Girls High School and Wynberg Boys High School (Cape Town); Bridge House (Franschhoek); York High (George); Clarendon, Collegiate, Grey Junior School, Grey High School, Pearson High School, St Georges Prep and Woodridge College (Port Elizabeth); Stirling Primary (East London); DSG and Graeme College (Grahamstown); and local hosts, Oakhill School.