Momentum Hockey ChallengeBy: HELGE SCHUTZ
WINDHOEK High School and St Paul’s College were the big winners at the Momentum National Schools’ Hockey Challenge which took place at the Doc Jubber Fields in Olympia over the weekend. WHS won the U/18 girls and the U/16 girls’ titles, while St Paul’s won the U/14 boys’ and U/14 girls’ titles. There were also good performances by Oranjemund Private School who won the boys’ U/18 category, and Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool (WAP) who won the boys’ U/16 category.
The Ambassadorial Trophy, for the team that best represented its school, was awarded to Oranjemund Private School’s U/18 girls’ team, while the Sportsmanship award went to the boys’ U/16 team of PK de Villiers.
About 200 children representing schools from Windhoek, Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Oranjemund competed in the tournament which was sponsored by Momentum for the second year to the tune of N$100 000.
The Namibia Hockey Union also organised an impromptu collection of hockey clothing and equipment for the People’s Primary School team that won a silver medal in the boys’ U/14 category. The PRO of the NHU, Laurie Howard, said it was a great success.
“A lot of these kids didn’t have shoes or basic hockey clothing and equipment so we asked all the schools to contribute. Their response was fantastic and we managed to collect two big boxes full of clothing and equipment,” she said.
At the end of the tournament two Namibian invitational under-16 girls’ teams were selected to play against a South African provincial team that will tour Namibia in early October.
The treasurer of the NHU, Rob Offner, said the tournament gave them a chance to broaden their base of players.
“The idea behind the Momentum Challenge is really to broaden the schools’ base in terms of participation.
We have a lot of the big private schools participating and a lot of these kids go on to join our clubs. But this tournament allows us to see schools from outside Windhoek and this will allow us to identify talent going forward, so that we can broaden the base and strengthen our squads,” he said.
Offner said that the Indoor Hockey league, which normally only starts in January, will now start in October due to the increased number of teams.
“The indoor league has grown a lot and we have found that having the league from January through to March has become problematic, because there are just too many players while there are not enough facilities available. Currently we just have the use of the DTS facility but we are planning to split the Indoor League into a pre-Christmas league from October to December and then from January to March.
“Wanderers are in the process of building an indoor facility and we really hope that we can develop the standard of the indoor leagues through more facilities.”
Offner said the NHU’s plans to build an astroturf field could soon become a reality.
“We are making good ground in terms of facilitating the construction of an astroturf. We are currently in talks with the Windhoek municipality about not only the leasing of these wonderful facilities at the Doc Jubber fields, but also the purchase thereof.
“We have also kindly received money from the Namibian government and a number of corporates and a small committee has been put together.
We have actually got to the point of planning the layout of the astroturf and getting quotes for the surface and we hopefully can give good news in the next couple of months, to make this long outstanding dream of the late Doc Jubber a reality,” he said.