by Kirsty Hodgskiss (Knights)
“Will it be worth the effort?”
“Will it be worth the cost?”
“Should we really go all the way to Jo’burg?”
“For two days of Frisbee?”
…and now with the advantage of retrospect, I believe it is super clear that the correct decision was made.
The “Rocktober ‘cause we can” whatsapp group was formed. Missing several key players from our Nationals Hammerhead team, it soon became clear that although we had enough guys for our team, having enough girls would be a problem. With only two girls things weren’t looking good, but then in a massive move some Prawn Bunnies and ELUF players united and the Knights were formed. ROCKTOBER WAS DEFINITELY HAPPENING!!!
It was time to start looking into the logistics…how many people can we squeeze into a car? How many cars would have to make the ten hour trip? (Some might be wondering, why would you drive all the way from East London to Jo’burg??? Well, firstly, some of our players are varsity students, and with them on the verge of losing a year’s varsity fees, it is unlikely that they will be able to afford to see the inside of an aeroplane until they are in their forties… and then there are those of us who escaped the pure chaos of “fees must fall” but actually wish that fees had fallen ages ago as we still collect our fifty cent pieces to pay off the student loans that still haunt us! I believe that I have provided a sufficient explanation as to we the Knights did not “just” fly to Jo’burg.)
The Knights left in various vehicles from various starting points and converged on Johannesburg. Big city lights called us, and the final members of the Knights arrived at midnight on Friday. Bodies were strewn across the floor of Jason’s mom’s flat. Those that had arrived earlier showed their true commitment to their teammates by having blown up the inflatable mattresses manually, as the pump had not survived the Jo’burg altitude.
Nathan, Mike, Siya and Josh manually blowing up the mattresses for “altitude” training
Everyone came back to life early on Saturday morning and soon there was great excitement. Travelling in convoy we headed for the polo fields. I would like to thank whoever invented GPSs at this time, as I believe I’d still be lurking in some dark corner in the massive city if it wasn’t for my “turn right” friend.
At the fields all the Knights met each other and the bonding began. Our girls from Durban were fit and keen and Liza and I felt rather strange being the older girls in the team…but it was only by a few years… oh no wait… our girls were Grade nine and ten students! Throughout the tournament they showed such grit and determination…I still shake my head in disbelief when I think back on how hard they managed to push themselves. These girls have a fantastic Frisbee future ahead of them.
We felt that we put up a decent fight against Ghost in our first game, but they were ultimately too strong for us (hee hee ultimately ultimate!!!) and beat us 15-7. We then played a fellow Eastern Cape team, Gale Force, and ended this game solidly on top. Ultitude 2 were our last opponents for the day, and although we were beginning to take strain after a long day of Ultimate, we managed to end the day with another victory.
Mike Fris having to straighten his mustache! Yes he lost a bet with his team!
Side note: For those that were “knighted” as players of the match by the Knights, your official documentation has arrived, with your coat of arms hand-painted on them. Congratulations on moving up a class and becoming a knight (a reminder to be humble when you look upon those around you who have not managed to acquire the same status).
GaleForce serenading our hero of the match!
Sunday was a tougher day for the Knights. Although some had ensured that they were fully rehydrated by playing water-pong the night before, most were feeling the effects of the previous day. Sunscreen was layered on and the Knights were ready for their second day of battle.
Water Pong at the Social – It’s what happens when you need to hydrate!
(And when some of your players aren’t old enough to drink!)
In our first game we got our legs moving a bit, pushing through the stiffness, and actually managed a sneaky little lead on UCT A. We played hard and the team was truly united with the subs going crazy on the side-line and those on the field giving it their all. UCT A got the best of us, but we felt that we had challenged them a bit and thus we were proud of ourselves! Congratulations to UCT on their tournament victory!
Support in progress
We had two more tough games. We worked very hard against Ultitude 1 and managed to keep the points extremely close, but a hard cap finished the game at ~12-9. Our last game was against Skyveld. Although everyone was exhausted, the atmosphere on the field was great. Unfortunately for us, Skyveld had a bit more juice in the thank than we did and they came out victorious. Such a well-spirited game was a lovely way to end the tournament, so thanks Skyveld!
Happy Knights, broken but very grateful to the organizers for supplying shade with the facilities!
We ended a strong eighth, putting a bit of a scare into both finalists in our first halves with each.
We said our goodbyes, the Durban Knights going one way, and the East London Knights going another, all extremely proud to have been a Knight for a weekend.
HELL YES, IT WAS WORTH IT!!!