A few days after they were announced as new entrants to the 2022 Indoor Hockey World Cup, Namibia’s senior men’s hockey team was yesterday blessed with an amount of N$900 000 by telecommunications giant MTC to use for preparations towards the world hockey showpiece.
Namibia, along with the USA men, as well as the women’s teams of Canada and South Africa, were invited to compete in the world cup to be held from 2 to 6 February 2022 in Liege, Belgium.
This is after Australia and New Zealand withdrew from the tournament due to the Covid-19 international travel restriction.
The four new teams were invited based on each team being runners-up in the recently held African and Pan American Indoor Championships to maintain a balance between the number of participating teams per continent.
Namibia has been drawn in Pool B with Germany, Iran, Belgium, the United States of America and the Netherlands. Speaking at a press conference held at the MTC headquarters in Olympia, Namibia Hockey Union president Reagon Graig thanked the telecommunications company for their continued support, and urged all Namibians to rally behind the teams.
“We are grateful for the sponsorship. MTC has shown and helped hockey for the last few years. I am extremely excited that they have assisted us with finance – even on short notice. We are very excited that we have partnered with them,” Graig said.
The N$900 000 is in addition to a sponsorship deal worth N$3 million over three years to the national men and women’s teams for international commitments. MTC executive Tim Ekandjo said the country is proud the team will be competing at the world cup – and more should be done during preparations to ensure they put up a great performance. “We, as a nation, are very proud to be behind the team; the preparations will start on a good note. I am happy to hear that all the boys are playing international. I hope we, as a country, can give the sport the chance it deserves in terms of budget, support and making sure there is competency around management in sport,” he said.
Meanwhile, the men now join their female compatriots at the competition.
The women’s team for Namibia booked their place earlier this year after defeating South Africa in Durban, South Africa, to become African champions and qualify for the world cup.