During the holidays, 48 of our finest U13 Football Stars set off to Knysna to take part in the annual Knysna Soccer Festival. The event consists of some of the top soccer schools around the Western and Eastern Cape. Many Club Teams take part which makes this a huge challenge for our talented, hard working players.

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This was the first tour for many of the students and a brand new experience for some as they have never been away from home for this amount of time.

As always, the vibe in the buses was electric with plenty laughs, singing and dancing. The coaches loved the long drive up and used it to continue to connect with their team.

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We were greeted by glorious weather as we arrived in Knysna – just perfect for top class football. Being such a big group, we were treated to a stunning stay at the beautiful Brenton on Sea. The kids were smiling from ear to ear as they settled into their stunning rooms, and admired the open space to play.

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As per usual, the festival took place at the Abbotts Fields in Rheenedal. The field was in pristine condition. Sun Valley had for teams taking part in the event, more than any other school.

U13A Boys

Despite the U13A Boys missing a number of their normal “starters” on this Tour, the team played incredibly and gelled together in no time. After a mixed bag of wins and draws on Day One, Coach Mr Simon spoke to his boys about the type of football he is expected on day two. The boys came out guns blazing and played their hearts out for one another. There were two stand out games for them – firstly, a hard fought 1-0 victory against powerful Pinelands North. And the second, the final game of the Tour as they lost in the dying seconds to the unbeaten “PE City Club” – what a game! Well done to the team on a “near-perfect” touring performance.

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U13A Girls

Now these girls were in simply scintillating form throughout the Tour. What stood out in these girls is their ability to handle pressure and remain calm. When things get tough, they call “Blue Heads” as they all take a breath and re-focus on the job at hand. The girls dominated match after match throughout Day one and two of the Tour. They scored several beautiful “team goals” as the ball was worked up the field with great control and focus.

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U13B Boys

The event is always tough for the U13B Boys who came up against strong A-Teams. It is a great experience for these lads as they push themselves to the top level, while maintaining an awesome, fun vibe. Their coach, Mr Johnson, inspired them throughout the event and they had a great time together. They produced some very pleasing performances and were not out-played at all. Every match remained a draw or a single goal was the difference. We are so proud of these boys!

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U13B Girls

This team stole the show with their passion, belief and enthusiasm for the beautiful game. Much like the B Team Boys, coming up against A-Teams from other schools and clubs is not easy. However, they achieved A NUMBER of shock VICTORIES against top schools such as Kommetjie, Plett and more! This was definitely the “vibey-est” team on Tour.

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The behaviour on tour was exceptional. Dinners were delicious and the students regularly thanked their hosts for the amazing service and meals. Restaurant owners continued to praise the behaviour of the Sun Valley students.

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A visit to Puzzle Park was a definite highlight for the Touring Group. The boys and girls were divided into separate groups as they got a chance to make their way through the 3-D Maze and then set off on the Puzzle-Walk through the forest – These brain games are always a challenge and produce plenty laughs and stories to tell.

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What a tour, what an experience and what an incredible group of kids. Thank you to our amazing coaches who made this such a success.

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