NSSU to host hockey championship this weekend

WINDHOEK: The Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU) will host the national hockey championship in the capital this weekend.

NSSU national coordinator Solomon Duiker told Nampa on Tuesday 12 regions will participate in the championship at the Doc Jubber hockey fields on Friday and Saturday.

The Ohangwena and Zambezi regions will not be taking part in the championship because hockey is not played in the two regions.

Duiker said the aim of the championship is to select national Under 14, U-16 and U-18 boys’ and girls’ teams.

He said the selected teams will participate in the South Boys and Girls Hockey tournament in South Africa in July.

The U-14 boys’ and girls’ teams will participate in Bloemfontein, while the U-16 girls will be in Johannesburg and the boys will be in Cape Town. The U-18 girls and boys will participate in Cape Town.

Duiker further explained that the national championship will serve as development, especially for the U-14 teams.

It will amongst others help them to familiarise themselves with playing on artificial hockey turf.

He explained that the players are not used to playing on artificial turf but are then exposed to such turf when they play outside the country.

“We don’t have artificial pitches at schools and it becomes hard for the U-14 teams especially because it is their first time to play on one,” he said, adding that three schools in Namibia are however busy installing artificial turf.

Windhoek High school, Windhoek Gymnasium Private School and the Windhoek Afrikaans Private School are about to finish the installation of artificial turf at their schools.

Duiker also indicated that the NSSU faces a lack of hockey equipment, especially at rural schools, which hinders the participation of schools in the sport code.

“Hockey equipment is very expensive and most schools cannot afford to buy it so we at the NSSU try to acquire those materials from foreign donors,” he said before calling on local companied to sponsor the sport.

Another challenge in all regions is human resources. Duiker said they rely heavily on teachers and volunteers to train the learners especially at disadvantaged schools.