The other side of the fairy-tale is the cruel mistress
Okay, off of the soap box now and on to the hockey. Everyone loves the fairy-tale in sport, but the other side of the coin is a devastating. The SPAR South Africa ladies and their coaching team are an extremely likeable group of people. They conduct their business with dignity and class and were 18 seconds from qualifying for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. Namibia scored the goal that sent the crowd into raptures but broke the South African hearts. They were the dominant team in the tournament but fell short in the only match that matters. I have utmost respect for how they play the game and how they carried themselves afterwards. Unfortunately it was not their day, but they refused to take the attention away from Namibia. Speaking of which…
But everyone does loves a fairy-tale
Namibia are going to the World Cup. There was an administrative nightmare by South Africa, that opened the door for Namibia to go to the World Cup in 2011, but this time they are there by right. They were behind 2-1 and 3-2 in the final but refused to give up. That they were able to bring a slightly different game plan to the final was a masterstroke. I may personally not be a fan of the lack of squad use by Erwin Handura, but one of the girls who stayed on the pitch almost the entire time, Marcia Venter, popped up when it mattered most to seal the showdowns. We have seen a lot of fairy-tales in sport in the recent years and Namibia’s ladies have now added another one to the list!
The Cormack Family are an asset to Namibian Hockey
Have one family ever had such an impact on a nations sport. The Cormack’s are synonymous with indoor hockey in Namibia and go about their business with a touch of class that many could learn about. They run the PSi franchise in Windhoek (The Hawks and Eagles) like a family and that has seen them get much success including back-to-back Franchise of the Year titles. Trevor and Shayne were the head coach and assistant coach of the Namibian men’s side who were not expected to challenge the SA Men much. Instead they were phenomenal and really tested the BlitzStoks in a massive way. They can be proud of their performances and Namibia can be proud of the Cormack’s.
The BlitzStoks are going to Berlin
It is only right for me to end on a high spot. The BlitzStoks challenge was initially seeming a little bit extra tough as a lack of sponsor meant they were going to each have to pay almost R12 000 person! But TOPS @ SPAR, Blue T Hockey, Cutstudio & Teahupoo came on board an allowed the full strength squad to go. Although the first day was getting used to an increased pitch size and incredibly fast playing surface, the gents adapted well and the game management in the final was superb. They have earned their place in Berlin where they will be looking to mix it up with the best in the World! I cant wait!
— Tyron Jabu Barnard (@Tyronbarnard) June 25, 2017
Some Graphics from the Weekend
Pictures from the weekend
These pictures were all taken by the brilliant Helge Schutz from the Namibian.