Cape Town girls given warm reception

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A group of girls from the townships of Cape Town were given a warm reception when they visited the town last week.

The girls were hosted by Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club, who have themselves been visiting Cape Town on a yearly basis to take hockey coaching camps.

The connection dates back to 2006 when local businessman Eric Jenkinson set up a sports camp in Cape Town to work with children from the most impoverished backgrounds coaching hockey and soccer.

Golf has also been added to the list of sports offered to young people in the townships facilitated by visits from players from Lurgan Golf Club.

Since the partnership with the Amy Biehl Foundation was set up there have been two reciprocal visits to Lurgan for the girls from Cape Town.

Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club hosted a similar visit seven years ago and of those visitors a phenomenal nine young ladies went on to university.

Last week they raised enough money to fly another party of nine into Northern Ireland, with all but one of those making the trip, sampling air travel for the first time.

They joined with U15s and seconds players for training and games then played a curtain raiser against U13s before the Irish Senior Cup game against North Kildare, which finished a 2-2 draw.

During their time in the province they also attended a performance of Oliver in the Grand Opera House, a Belfast Giants game at the Odyssey, a golf clinic at Lurgan Golf Club and took in some
site seeing.