THE Windhoek show grounds were a hive of activity this weekend as about 180 of Namibia’s top junior hockey players competed in a Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Hockey Development Tournament, which was sponsored by Square Cafe and Ricoh.
The tournament, which was organised by Trevor and Shayne Cormack of Namibia Sport Dynamics, was essentially for under-10 players, but also saw Namibia’s best under-13, under-15, and under-18 players in action ahead of their South African PSI tour in December.
Four Namibian regional PSI teams, namely the Vikings, Knights, Wizards and Dragons, participated in the under-10 development tournament for boys and girls which was tightly contested.
In the boys’ final, the Vikings seemed to be cruising to victory when they took a 6-1 lead, but the Knights staged a great second-half comeback to draw level at 6-all and send the match into a penalty shootout. Here, the Vikings prevailed 9-7 to win the match and the gold medal.
The Wizards came third and the Dragons fourth.
The Vikings and the Knights also contested the girls’ under-10 final, which was also a close affair before the Vikings won the match 4-2.
The tournament saw several exhibition matches between the Namibian Hawks and Eagles teams that will compete at the South African PSI Tournament in Durban next month.
Besides this there were also some popular exhibition matches between the Namibian under-18 boys’ team and two senior teams consisting of several current and former Namibian international players.
They included players like Trevor Cormack, Siabonga Martins, Sedric Makati and Jack Thonnissen of Western Province, who turned out for the Square Cafe team, and Bucko Bartlett, Ettienne de Villiers, Luke Pennefather and former Springbok Bruce Jacobs, who turned out for the Ricoh team.
Although they could not match their younger opponents in terms of fitness, they still displayed some sublime skills and the seniors won both semifinal matches to qualify for the final. Here the Square Cafe team beat the Ricoh team 6-5 in another tightly contested match.
One of the highlights of the tournament was the fashion show on Friday night where Mr and Miss PSI were selected from about 20 of Namibia’s under-15 and under-18 players. All the finalists strutted their stuff down the catwalk, modelling hockey clothing, while they also displayed great composure in answering questions under the spotlight.
In the end Windsor Husselmann and Carla Brits were popular winners as they were crowned Mr and Miss PSI 2012.
Brits and Devon Sprake were also announced as the 2013 Junior Princess Ambassadors, which will see them receiving sponsorships from hockey manufacturer Princess for the 2013 season.