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Showcase gives school sport stars chance to show their skills in Covid affected year

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CAPE TOWN – For high school athletes, what can be better than participating in sports-related activities and putting your abilities on display in a year where playing simply isn’t an option?

That’s what The Showcase has offered young rugby and netball players.

The Showcase is an opportunity for school kids to participate and compete against peers, a huge opportunity in 2020 seeing as participation was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase Two of The Showcase saw a massive turnout, with the top 150 rugby and netball players, from 85 different schools, showcasing their talent in Cape Town on Friday, October 30.

The day’s proceedings took place in a live-event format at the Western Cape Cricket Club and saw the top performers from Phase One – the virtual stage, which stretched over 10 weeks – perform various performance tests, focusing on the physical testing of the participants as well as their skills. The physical testing included exercises like the vertical jump, broad jump, and push-ups, while the rugby skills tests included drills using Shadow Ball and Annelie Lucas, Western Cape Stings coach, ran the netball skills training and tests.

More than 1000 kids from all over South Africa and from 138 different schools took part in the first (virtual) phase, with the top 150 athletes progressing to Phase Two.

Gerhardi Odendaal, CEO of Old School Sports Group, the multi-brand team behind Sports 10s series who pioneered the event, said that the event was hugely rewarding considering the opportunity it offered young athletes.

“We are really happy with the outcome of our inaugural Showcase event. It was an absolute joy to see the kids who took part in the virtual part of The Showcase coming through and showing their talent and athletic ability at the second phase of the event, which was in the form of a Live Event Format. It was encouraging to see the smiles on the kids’ faces as they booted up and got onto the sports field for the first time in 2020.

“We are really happy and excited by the results and potential of The Showcase to offer kids from all backgrounds, locations and ability the chance to participate in an event that really identifies and nurtures talent and the 2020 Showcase did just that. We are already planning the second version of The Showcase which will launch very soon.”

Andrew Gray, National Academic Manager at ETA College (Showcase partner), added to Odendaal’s sentiments.

“The Showcase was a very successful event in that it allowed athletes from different backgrounds to compete against each other.

“It created a community and camaraderie amongst the participants that has been missing during the lockdown. It allowed athletes to compete again, something that teenagers do – or did before Covid – willingly on a day to day basis.”

For a full list of winners and results, visit http://showcasesports.co.za/

*Throughout the duration of The Showcase, the official measurements for each participant were tracked along with their anthropometric, body composition and respective athletic testing results.

Anthropometric measurements included height and weight, while the testing included various sprint and shuttle runs, an Agility T-Test, medicine ball throws, pull-ups, vertical jump, broad jump, push-ups, sit-ups, Bronco endurance runs and specific rugby and netball skillsets. More than 15,000 datapoints on the above were captured during the event.

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