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In a first for South African hockey, the Inaugural Premier Hockey League kick starts this week with the best of our locally based players taking on each other in a Franchise system. The teams have now started gathering in Johannesburg, the tournament host is the Randburg Astro, and ahead of the launch this weekend we put some of the key info in one place.

Sponsors

In another Major coup for hockey in South Africa, the Premier Hockey League secured team sponsors for every team alongside Grays, the technical apparel sponsor of  SA Hockey, and Tsogo Sun, the hotel partners of SA Hockey. The sponsors on board include the retail sector along with medical and personal grooming brands.

Television Rights

On Monday it was announced that SuperSport had concluded an exclusive five year deal to broadcast selected matches from the PHL. For the 2016 event, 24 of the 40 PHL games, including all semi-finals and both finals, will be broadcast live across all SuperSport platforms, including television, mobile and online – throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. A further eight PHL games will be streamed exclusively live via the SuperSport website and will be repeated, on a delayed basis, on selected SuperSport broadcast channels.

Thanks to support and investment from the Department of Sport & Recreation, the inaugural PHL event will be hosted at the Randburg Astro, Johannesburg and will consist of both a men’s and women’s league that will run over four weekend’s – from Saturday 3rd September to Sunday 25th September 2016 (inclusive).

The PHL forms a key part of the SAHA high performance pipeline which is aimed at better equipping our national men’s and women’s teams for international competition in future. To this end the PHL will be the very first Hockey League in the world where all the women participating will be paid to play the game.

Fixtures

The fixtures for the opening weekend along with where you can catch the games online are detailed below.

Tickets

Tickets cost a ridiculously R10 and are available at the gate at Randburg Astro. To quantify that somehow, you would probably play close to R1 000 to attend a similar event in the UK. 1% of the ticket price, that’s it. Why would you not go.

Social Media

Remember to follow all the teams (especially the teams you support) on social media. The early signs of support are showing that is going to be a tight tussle between the Tsogo Sun Drakensberg Dragons and the Milo Maropeng Caveman in the mens tournament while the ladies looks like a supporter shoot out between the Ezee Tile Madikwa Rangers and the Private Property Wineland Wings.

Tarryn Glasby

“The PHL is exactly what South African hockey needed and I am so excited and feel very fortunate to be part of the very first one.”

Tarryn GlasbyLip Ice Namaqualand Daisies
Garreth Ewing

“Its a very good initiative, and I hope that the model will prove as successful as it has in other sports. From our point of view it will be crucial preparation for the Junior World Cup. The time we will be able to spend together as the Golden Gate Gladiators will be so valuable.

The product, if marketed and managed correctly (which I have no doubt it will be if I think of the professionals involved in the background) could be a turning point in the commercialisation of hockey at senior level in South Africa. I’m interested to see how the teams perform, considering how little time they will have had together. It will be fun to see if provincial boundaries can be broken down in the interest of the franchises.”

Garreth EwingPrivate Property Golden Gate Gladiators