A family-oriented sport

PGKA showcasing Namibian inline hockey
This variant of hockey is greatly enjoyed by the youth and allows them to showcase great skills.
Wetumwene Shikage
Pama Golden Knights Academy (PGKA) Warriors hosted its annual inline hockey tournament which is one of five events by Namibia Ice and Inline Hockey Association (NIIHA).

This was the third tournament of the year which took place from Tuesday, 14 June, to Sunday, 19 June, in Windhoek. All five clubs were in attendance to compete and showcase their talent, with their supporting families cheering them on. There were ten divisions from under-eight to adults, with about 500 people in attendance. There were 123 games played which kept the competition on a high note for everyone attending.

NIIHA has three registered clubs in Windhoek which are PGKA Warriors, Badgers and Kamikaze. Other teams are the Coastal Pirates from Swakopmund and the Scorpions from Otjiwarongo.

Current chairman of the PGKA Warriors, Dave Hammond said the tournament observed great competition amongst the players, showing that they truly made an impact. Players have been training extensively on weekends with two months dedicated to practice and taking part in national training camps.

“We see how well their hard work paid off.”

Hammond described the sport as a combination of soccer, basketball and ice hockey put on roller skates. “It is a very team-oriented sport which requires a lot of strategy and high impact skill with physical strength. We all play in an inline skate which has four wheels on a row. There are four on four players and a goalkeeper. The open players play two 15-minute periods,” he explained.

Windhoek Gymnasium learner Aron Schultz is eight years old and has been playing inline hockey for about four years. He currently plays for the Badgers team in Windhoek.

“I made three new friends and I really enjoy scoring goals,” he said.

Encouraging those who would like to try out the sport, Hammond said the sport gives players a lot of exposure, with the opportunity to meet wonderful new people from the rest of the world. The Namibian national teams which feature players from all clubs will be travelling overseas later this year.

“It does not matter what race or gender you are; this sport can be played by almost everyone. We have different divisions to make everyone feel welcome and can be considered as a family-oriented sport in Namibia,” he said.