SWAKOPMUND – Namibia’s popular holiday resort, Swakopmund is to play hosts to the eagerly awaited Africa Cup Inline Hockey tourney, which gets underway at The Dome on Monday.
Giant Swakopmund based sporting entity, The Dome teamed up with principal sponsor Bank Windhoek, to provide the much-needed financial muscles to the five-day international gathering.
In its second consecutive year, the tourney is billed a truly international gathering and has attracted participants from host nations Namibia, South Africa, Brazil, India, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, USA, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Italy and UK.
Seven teams will compete in a total of 26 matches with each game consisting of a seven-minute warm up, five-minute halftime and 2 x 18-minute stop time periods. All teams will compete against each other in the round-robin stages.
Upon completion of the round-robin stages, the 7th seeded team will be eliminated from the competition on Friday evening, whilst the top four teams moves to the semi-finals, where the winners will contest for the coveted gold medal. Teams seeded 5 and 6 will contest the play-off contest for the 5th spot.
The Namibian men’s team is the defending champions having claimed top honours at the maiden edition of the annual event at the same venue, last year.
Hosts Namibia defeated the visiting Labeda Bulls, fielding a mixed team of Americans, Canadians and Spaniards national team players with a few local men in the mix.
Two local and three international referees have been roped in to officiate in an effort to maintain the anticipated world-class standard at the tourney.
The match officials will also conduct a two-day international referee clinic before commencement of the tourney, with the ultimate aim to develop and improve the skills set of local referees.
Attendees have been specifically selected and will be put through their paces with practical and theory sessions.
Entry fee is N$50 per day or N$200 for the week and tickets are available online on TIXSA, The Dome’s ticketing platform or from the box office stationed at the event.
Interested parties can follow the entire tourney with live commentary to be streamed by TeeVee, a local company with extensive experience in broadcasting action sport events.
Last year, over 8 000 online spectators tuned in while another 800 sat rink side per day. To date, the tournament has had more than 300 000 YouTube views worldwide. “These numbers have shown us that this tournament has both local and international appeal.
“Bank Windhoek believes sport brings people of all walks of life together. This tourney contributes to sport and youth development in our country and we are very pleased to be associated with it,” said Bank Windhoek’s Head of Corporate Social Investments, Sponsorships and Events, Sanet de Waal. She wished all the participants the best.