By Carlos Kambaekwa
Namibia’s inline hockey is out to conquer the world with several international matches on the cards later this year.
Both the boys’ National Under-14 and 18 are to participate in the World Junior Olympics at Philadelphia in the United States end of June, while the National Women’s senior side will represent the African continent at this year’s World Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany, at the beginning of July.
Preparations for the global safari begin in earnest tonight with an intensive three-day training camp slated for the Swakopmund Fussball Club Rink, this weekend.
Inline hockey is amongst the fastest growing disciplines in Namibia with no less than five rinks in place already in towns such as Otjiwarongo, Swakopmund and Windhoek, while some of the leading clubs have embarked upon various demographics to take the game to the next level.
One such club is Cazadores Inline Hockey Club who have shipped in the knowledgeable coach Josh Blair from Canada, and the 26-year old Canadian wasted little time and outlined his development programme for this fascinating sport at a special function at the Cazadores Inline Hockey Rink in Windhoek this week.
After serving three years in Canada’s Military Engineer Corp, Blair moved to Australia where he obtained a diploma in pastoral leadership/youth ministry at Hillsong International Leadership College.
“My objective as head coach is two-fold, firstly it’s to certainly heighten the skill of each of my players and build the sport of inline hockey across country.
“And secondly, I do not want to just find myself with a bunch of talented hockey players, and would rather find myself with amazing men and women that society can look up to with a great sense of integrity, character and unquestionable work ethics.”
Blair said he finds it astonishing to see what can be accomplished through teamwork in sport after observing that through inline hockey an amazing sense of comradeship and unity is achievable.
“Sometimes even unaware of it, barriers are broken down, social status and backgrounds disappear into thin air while differences become history, and it’s then that the seemingly outrageous goals are accomplished with ease.”
Blair hails from Chatham, Ontario near Toronto and has signed a year-long contract with the ambitious Windhoek-based club.