Namibia’s ladies beach volleyball team is set to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifiers in Abuja, Nigeria, today.
Namibia is in a group of 6 teams, which includes Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Rwanda and Morocco. The Namibian team needs to finish top of the group to play against the top finisher in the second group. A victory in that final will see them book a place at this year’s Olympics.
National team players Kim Seebach, Julia Laggner, Rosi Hennes, Stephanie Palmhert and coach James Verrinder recently left for Nigeria to get their qualification campaign underway.
The qualification process started back in November 2014 when both the men and ladies teams took part in the sub-zonal phase at DTS Beach Arena in Windhoek. The men were unfortunately not able to qualify for the next round, falling to Angola and Zimbabwe, but the ladies showed great form and managed to finish second, behind Angola and so qualified for the next round.
Another year passed, but it was not until November 2015 when the ladies team travelled to Cairo, Egypt, to compete against Egypt, Rwanda and Angola for a place in the top three.
It was a massive turning point for the Namibian ladies team as they managed to turn around the previous result, beating Angola 3-2 to qualify for the Continental Cup finals in Nigeria.
Unfortunately for the first time in a few years, the team found itself in the position of having no sponsor to send them to the finals in Nigeria after all their efforts to qualify for each successive round.
Luckily a few volleyball enthusiasts came on board and assisted the team financially, including Gear Rail Namibia, KS Industries cc, Optic Exclusive, Conserv Engineering Services and Absolute Logistics.