International teams expected at Roller-Hockey tournament

The Namibia Ice- and Inline Hockey Association (NIIHA), the governing body of inline roller-hockey in Namibia hereby wishes to announce and inform the Namibia Media of the Inline Roller-Hockey Event – The Africa Cup to be hosted at The Dome in Swakopmund during the week May 23 to 27, 2017.
The inline hockey teams taking part in the Africa Cup will not only be Namibian teams but will also include 3 international club teams from Norway, Germany and South Africa.
The Africa Cup, the first event of its kind to be hosted in Namibia, aims to promote Namibia as a possible future host of inline hockey events by demonstrating that NIIHA can organise itself and creates international interest of inline hockey clubs willing to partake in a successful event, which is locally organised.
Background & History:
Inline roller-hockey sport in Namibia consists of 5 Inline Hockey Clubs, namely Badgers-, Cazadores-, Coastal Pirates-, Kami-kaze- and Scorpions Inline Hockey Clubs, with +- 420 members (2017) and organised under NIIHA.
In as far as Namibia’s inline hockey achievements are concerned NIIHA must mention the singular achievement of the Scorpions Inline Hockey Club from Otjiwarongo, who did not once, but twice managed to be acknowledge by The Guinness Book of Records as the record holders to record the longest uninterrupted inline hockey marathon playing an incredible continuous game for 27 hours 00 minutes 31 seconds in 2013 and for 36 hours 00 minutes and 56 seconds in 2016. (see links below)
Fédération Internationale Roller Sports (FIRS), the international body hosting world inline roller-hockey present biennial World Championships, hosted in various countries similar to other international sporting events.
The Africa Cup concept was conceived during 2016 when Gilbert Portier, president of the World Inline Hockey Association (WIHA) visited Namibia to inspect and evaluate the facilities available at The Dome in Swakopmund. Though the facilities was approved by the team as a potential venue to host a FIRS Inline Hockey World Championship, Namibia’s bid to host the 2018 FIRS Inline Hockey World Championships failed due to the requirement of a substantial foreign currency denominated security deposit.
Being impressed by the local facilities at The Dome in Swakopmund the idea of a local event with international participation was proposed and took form under the initiatives of Brian Sobel (Coastal Pirates Coach), Dave Hammond (Sales- & Marketing Manager of The Dome) Heike Dedig (former NIIHA Sports Officer) and Trish Hammond (current NIIHA Sports Officer)
With the agreement of the owners of The Dome, Messrs Horst Fritze and Paul van Biljon the venue to host the Africa Cup was decided on and the planning and organisation of the event started under auspices of NIIHA.
The Africa Cup will not only pave the way for Namibia to become a potential host for the FIRS World Inline Hockey Champion-ships, but also showcase the talent of our Namibian players and the level of development of the sport in Namibia and Africa.
Should Namibia be able to successfully present the Africa Cup this year, it is then planned also to be hosted annually and to attract teams and individual players from all over the world to partake in the event, thus promoting Namibia, the sport and our future venue to host the FIRS World Championships.
Status & Current developments:
In just over 3 weeks the first ever Africa Cup will be presented at The Dome in Swakopmund, starting on 22 May. The games will commence on Tuesday and the official opening of the Africa Cup will be on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 18h00 at The Dome.
8 teams confirmed their participation in the event, they are the SAS Bluebirds from Norway, the Taunus Wild Hogs from Germany, a club team from South Africa with a Brazilian guest player as well as the 3 teams from Namibia, a team consisting of the Namibian coaches (all from USA currently living in Namibia) with 3 Spanish players, 1 player from Eritrea and a Canadian, who will be joining forces to try and upset the local National Senior and Junior Men’s teams.
Some of the highlights of the tournament:
1.One of the most well-known referees from the USA will be offering his services to be the head umpire and also to train our local senior referees;

2.The Junior players will receive skills training (hereby giving the juniors also the opportunity to be part of the event) by our local coaches, who have agreed to volunteer their time to further improve the level of hockey in the country;

3.The players in the NARCh Federation Teams and the Namibian National Junior Men’s team will also be afforded the opportunity to network with international players and prepare themselves for the upcoming tournaments in San Jose, California, USA in June 2017 and Beijing, China in August 2017 respectively (see below for more details about these two teams representing Namibia in separate events);

4.The President of World Inline Hockey, Gilbert Portier and other important names in Namibia Inline Hockey will also be present during the course of the week.

5.Live streaming of the Africa Cup done by Nautilus Studios – the link will be available on the NIIHA and Africa Cup Facebook pages.
NIIHA invites everybody in Namibia and especially those on holiday or visiting Swakopmund during this time to join in this exciting event.
NIIHA also wants to thank our sponsors for their generous support and sponsorships, without whom this event would not have been possible: Spar Namibia, Bank Windhoek, Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, The Dome and Red Bull.

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