Sports row rocks Glenwood High School, Durban High School rivalry
Durban - Two of Durban's premier sporting schools will not play each other at any sports this year after Durban High School (DHS) cancelled all sporting events with its main rival Glenwood High School over allegations of player and coaching poaching.
The severing of ties between the two school also means that Durban's oldest schoolboy rugby rivalry - a fixture on many rugby fans' calendar and an event which first took place in 1925 - will not go ahead.
There are several allegations, while not confirmed by either school, that Glenwood poached several talented sportsmen from DHS this year.
Paul Spooner, the chairman of Durban High School Governing Body said it was with regret and a heavy heart that they decided to discontinue all sporting fixtures against Glenwood High School for the foreseeable future.
"This was not a decision that the School Governing Body has taken lightly, but it is a result of a variety of situations that have been building for some time and which have culminated in recent incidents which we strongly feel cannot be condoned or overlooked," he said in a statement.
"The DHS management team is of the opinion that the relationship and trust between the two schools has deteriorated to such an extent that holding sporting fixtures is no longer in the best interest of the two institutions, or beneficial to current and future learners of DHS. Durban High School has great respect for the many traditions and long history that we share with Glenwood and will continue to endeavour to improve the relationship. It is our view that once we are afforded the respect we believe is due to us and trust is restored, we will be in a position to consider sporting contact in the future".
Dr Andri Barnes, headmistress of Glenwood High School said they were very "disappointed" that Durban High School had severed all sporting and cultural activities between the two schools.
"It is unfortunate that a resolution could not be reached as was the case in 2013 when a similar issue arose between the two schools. Glenwood abides by the protocols established by the state boys' high school with regard to admission, pupil transfers and teacher recruitment. Glenwood is committed to continuous dialogue and mutual co-operation between the two schools. We will always be guided by what's best for the boys," she said.
It is not the first time that Glenwood High School has been accused by schools in the Durban area of "unethical sportsmanship".
In 2013, Westville Boys’ High, suspended top-level sport after a disagreement over a rugby player who Glenwood imported from Pretoria’s Waterkloof High School in 2011. They were joined by Durban High School who also refused to play against them that year after accusations that Glenwood poached a cricket player from them.
In 2014, Hilton College said it could no longer play Glenwood High School as Glenwood’s rugby was “too professional”.
Speaking at the time,
Hilton College headmaster Peter Ducasse said they decided to discontinue playing against Glenwood as they saw no educational value in playing matches where the contest is decidedly one-sided.
“The simple reason for this decision is that Glenwood High School’s fairly recent strategy has, in our firm opinion, now moved them into a different league,” he said.