By John Tuerijama
AS with many other sport codes in the country, lack of facilities is also a problem for outdoor hockey.
An executive member of the Namibia Hockey Union, Erwin Handura, said there is a limited amount of hockey fields in Windhoek and these belong to private clubs, namely DTS and Wanderers.
“We also now have two artificial turfs in Windhoek, belonging to Windhoek High School and Windhoek Gymnasium Private School. The seven clubs in Windhoek are expected to share these facilities while the schools to whom these facilities belong get first priority,” he said.
“It’s a major headache for clubs and the national teams to prepare well. We kindly request the City of Windhoek (CoW) and MTC to build a multi-purpose indoor complex in the capital and another in Katutura to allow all the communities to benefit,” said a worried Handura.
Handura, who doubles up as coach of the University of Namibia women’s hockey team said funding is a major hindrance for the development of hockey and other sports in the country.
“Our athletes can only develop with regular exposure at the highest possible level. Category A sports in Namibia receive N$ 90 000 from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), and with this amount of money unions and federations are expected to do development, administration and compete internationally,” he reiterated.
“You can do the mathematics yourself. This amount is not even enough to send an indoor team of 12 players to an international event in neighbouring South Africa,” he moaned.
As for equal representation in the different national teams, Handura said as long as there is no Transformation Policy there will always be unhappiness in the selection of developmental and national teams.
“You must take note that on a senior level, club hockey is only played in Khomas, Erongo and a little bit in Karas (Oranjemund). We used to have clubs in Gobabis, Oshakati and Rehoboth but could not survive the high costs involved in running a club especially when travelling to play league fixtures,” said Handura.
Despite the lack of training facilities, Handura said more and more players are interested to play hockey because of the opportunities that the sport offers, especially in terms of playing professional hockey, scholarship opportunities to attend school at some of the best schools in Windhoek and South Africa, and going on overseas tours with hockey.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015