A community of sport lovers

The Desert Sport Festival brought together a community of like-minded sport enthusiasts across regions and schools in Namibia
Jemimah Ndebele, Brian Munango and Desiree Gases
The ninth annual Desert Sport Festival hosted by Walvis Bay Private High School (WBPHS) was an immense achievement, with over 650 rugby, netball and hockey players from 14 schools from across the country participating, while parents and fellow learners came out in numbers to support them.

The series of friendly games started on 23 March and ended on 26 March.


Hockey players from various schools across the country made sure to leave scuff marks on the WBPHS hockey field as they came together to participate in the annual festival that took place in the harbour town last week.

Three male teams participated from WBPHS, Elnatan and Windhoek Afrikaans Private School (WAP), with spectators visibly excited about WAP’s fiery friendly matches. Additionally, five female teams participated from Windhoek High School, Elnatan, WAP, WBPHS and Windhoek Gymnasium.

The tournament set a high standard and expectation for the upcoming hockey season, as matches peaked with intensity that was reflected in the scoreline, including WBPHS’s male team winning their match against Windhoek High School with an impressive 5-0.


This year, a number of newbies joined the festival, including Pioneers Park Primary School’s under-13s along with Gobabis Gymnasium, who rejoined after a few years of not participating.

Parents, family, friends and teachers were amongst the spectators as the first game jumpstarted the netball series, with the u19s of WBPS taking on Elnatan.

Githe Derks, an u19 netball player from Gobabis Gymnasium, said: “We’re new to this and it was a big deal for us because it’s been a while since our school attended and I’ve been enjoying it a lot. Although I wasn’t able to play my last game because of my ankle, the atmosphere here has been nothing short of amazing”.

Salomé Swart, netball coordinator at WBPHS, said they had an amazing festival this year. “There were quite a number of intense games between the participating schools because many of them haven’t played in two years.”

She added that she is looking forward to next year’s festival because they hope to have teams from South Africa join the experience.


The WBPHS u19 A team looked undefeatable on their home turf, Naartjie Park. The team put on a world-class performance, winning 57-0 against Tsumeb Gymnasium.

Swakopmund Secondary School (SSS) u19, regarded as the underdogs in the tournament, surprised everyone as they beat the WBPHS B team. SSS came from the back twice to secure a 21-14 victory in a game that looked lost at first.

SSS captain Kisting Rodriguez said the game was tough. “We struggled the first half and we thought we would lose, but our players didn’t give up hope and we encouraged each other to go on and score.”

Micheal Koopman, captain of the WBPHS B team, said at first, they dominated the game, “but after the first yellow card, we stopped playing hard and that’s when we lost the game”.