AMID the gloom and cold, our hearts were been warmed this past weekend, when our very own hockey queens secured qualification for the 2018 Indoor World Cup, slated for Berlin in Germany.
The scenes following the final match against South Africa proved just how much the World Cup qualification meant to our young ladies, as tears followed liberally.
They have done us proud and restored our belief in the abilities of our sport stars to reach the highest global stages.
Through their penalty shootout win against the neighbouring country, following a 3-3 draw during regulation time, Erwin Handura’s charges proved that Namibian hockey has developed and improved to such an extent, that our girls no longer have to play second fiddle to South Africa.
Now the onus is on all those involved in the organising of the upcoming 2018 Indoor World Cup trip, to make sure that there are no financial hiccups.
Our hockey girls should not be left disappointed, like the under-17 boys national football team, which could not make the trip to Mauritius to defend their Cosafa Cup title between 21 and 30 July, because of financial woes.
Let us make sure that we savour the achievement of our lady’s hockey team, and make sure that there is enough money to send them to Berlin.
Here we have a national team that has booked their place at a world showdown, and we need to know how much is needed to prepare them, and send them on their way next year, to compete with the world’s best.
We all know that many other national teams are struggling to compete internationally, because of finances.We know of instances where parents have had to dig deep into their pockets, so that their offspring can compete internationally.
Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya is on record regarding the current financial situation facing the majority of the country’s sport codes.
It is in this context that we want a guarantee that our hockey girls will be jetting off to Berlin to compete next year.
How are we supposed to take our sport to the next level, if there is no financial commitment from our national leaders?
I don’t want to put the blame on anyone, but the responsibility is on all of us to ensure that our young boys and girls represent this country with pride.
Sure, the responsibility does, to a large degree, lie with government, but the private sector has an equally pivotal role to play in the development of sport.
We must remember that any budget for our hockey girls must include friendly matches, to prepare them to the fullest.
Handura and his charges have done exceptionally well, and I hope that they will be recognised later this year at the annual NSC/MTC Sports Awards.
I am also hopeful that our Brave Warriors will do us equally proud at the unfolding Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa.
The question that we should all be asking ourselves is whether we, as country, injects enough funding into our sport.
But as we all know that the answer to this question is obvious, considering that the NSC budget has been slashed and meagre amounts are being given to our sport codes.The big question now is: What is the national hockey leadership doing to source funds for our World Cup squad?
President Hage Geingob raised an important point, when he met with the Namibia Football Association (NFA) leadership at State House recently, regarding friendly matches for our national teams.
We can ill-afford to compete on a global stage, without the necessary preparations having taken place. Let us not let our hockey queens down, in this regard!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015