The National All Girls’ Schools’ Festival annually brings together hundreds of girls from all walks of life to celebrate and compete alongside each other. The Festival that was first hosted by Rustenburg and Wynberg Girls in 1999, turned 18 this year and has gone from strength to strength.
This year the bar was raised by Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool in Pretoria. From the fantastic Opening Ceremony – with guest artists Freshlyground entertaining the girls in the Aula Auditorium at the University of Pretoria – to the wide variety of well-organised sporting competitions and cultural workshops throughout the weekend, the Festival afforded our students the opportunity to gain valuable experience and make new friends. The theme this year was Beyond# which urged everyone to go beyond just the experience and make real connections with others. All leftover food (that was delicious and filling) was donated and distributed to shelters and it was estimated that the Festival fed over 1000 people during the course of the weekend.
Rustenburg was represented by our Netball, Debating, Tennis and Golf teams. The tour was successfully managed and lead by our Head of Sport, Ms Reneé Scott.
Read more about their experiences below:
The Netball Touring Team had a successful National All Girls’ Festival tournament. Rustenburg welcomed six new players who made a very positive contribution. The team was placed in Pool B with very tough opposition; they played 10 pool matches and one play-off match on the final day.
The highlight of day one was the team spirit and how easily the team bonded and played together after only 4 practices.
Day two saw them play their toughest matches against Oranje and Bloemhof who both made it to the semifinals of the tournament. The day finished off on a high note with Rustenburg winning two matches. Our defenders performed exceptionally well and shut down the opposition’s attackers effectively.
Eugenia Twumasi’s (Grade 12) experience benefitted the team greatly as she was the “Most Valuable Player” over the course of the weekend. Rustenburg finished 15th out of 22 schools.
With the pre-season tournament behind us, the team is looking forward to starting off the school league next week Thursday against Wynberg.
Ms Nolundi Blayi (Manager) and Ms Zaandre Barret-Theron (Coach)
Although this year’s team only won one of its four debates and finished in 14th spot out of 18 teams, the team was very upbeat about the experience gained at the festival. For Jade Smith, the team captain, it was a special tour: “This tour has been an incredible experience for me, I have learnt a lot and developed not only my style of speaking but also in confidence. I have been honoured to captain such an eager and positive group who made my last tour so memorable”.
Kristina Semmelink felt empowered: “This tour has helped me to develop my skills with prep work and writing a speech”. Aviella Abrahams another junior debater “…made new friends for life and memories that will never fade. I have discovered hidden talents and learnt new things. Katia da Silva, on her second tour, also spoke of similar benefits but focussed on her personal gains: “I have learnt so much about myself and have developed so much as a speaker”. Head of the Debating Society, Mikayla Shaw, echoed these views: “Aside from the countless debating, I have learned to trust myself and I have grown as a leader”.
Although it will take me at least a week (more than likely two) to recover, I will continue to take a debating team on tour. Watching them bond, seeing them develop their skills and listening to them expressing their arguments with more evidence and greater clarity always makes it so worthwhile. Charged with the positive buzz of the tour, the team took on Springfield in the first round of the Facets competition at Sans Souci this week.
Mr C. van Dyk (Manager)
2017 will be remembered as the year that put golf on the All Girls’ Festival map. For the very first time girl golfers were invited to participate and gain experience playing different golf courses and testing their skills.
Tyla Humby (Grade 11) and Megan Tromp (Grade 12) represented Rustenburg against 4 other girls’ schools. Day one took them to Pretoria Country Club – home of the 2017 Tshwane Open – for a better-ball 18-hole competition. As a team, they placed third whilst playing a difficult course for the first time.
On the second day their putting, driving, chipping (scrambling) and pitching skills were tested at the Tuks Golf Academy where they were again, placed third. The final day took them to the Services Golf Club for an early tee-off. They played 9 holes and were the highest scoring team of the day.
Rustenburg was placed third overall and both Tyla and Megan played some good golf against schools who offer the sport and have formal golf teams that play league matches. Here’s to continued growth of golf at Rustenburg!
Ms René Forbes (Manager)
Four Tennis girls: Emily Malherbe, Ahleigh Noyce, Josephine Knutzen and Jordan Cox, had the privilege of competing against 15 other schools at the All Girls’ Schools Festival this year.
After the Opening Ceremony and warm reception, we began our pool stage matches on Friday morning. We were placed in a very competitive pool against top performing schools and despite our ultimate placing, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. During the last two days, we played for our final placing and with each game, our skills definitely improved.
We had great team spirit and enjoyed our interaction with other schools. Despite our final twelfth position overall, we maintained a positive attitude and gained a lot of experience from tough competition. We were also told that our scores did not reflect on our games and we believe that we were a credit to our school. Special thanks to Ms Langenhoven whose dedicated support added to our enjoyment.
Emily Malherbe (Grade 12) and Ms Langenhoven (Manager)