With roots in ice hockey, the hockey line It has always been dominated by countries in the northern hemisphere. The greats of the competition are the Czech Republic, United States, Canada or Spain, however there is an oasis of this sport in Africa called Namibia, a true miracle that could attract the great events of this sport in the coming years.
This African team is the only one of its continent that participates in this modality in the World Roller Games. And he does it with quite promising results. The junior team finished sixth in the world, and in the senior fight for a position among the top ten. The history of Line Hockey in Namibia It begins around 1996, when some young Americans who lived there took advantage of a vacant lot that nobody used to start practicing it. According to Holger Mentzel, president of the federation of the African country, that was the germ of what little by little would become a power.
The Spanish women's team is looking for a place in the final against the United States today
Namibia decided to bet on this sport and hired expert coaches to increase the level. Some of them were the Canadian Philippe Boudreault, current male coach of Spain or Dave Hammond, female coach of Canada.
The American influence and the help of the federation made the sport grow to the point that they plan to bring the World Cup to Namibia in the year 2022. To achieve this, an African country would be the world center for a few days of a discipline with roots in ice hockey.
Line hockey can be practiced in warmer countries, which is why it is growing in New Zealand, Australia, Namibia or South America "
"In Namibia it has been working hard for years and there are very good coaches. Every year they take more steps and in junior they have made a good result ", explains Marcin Malacz, coach of the Spanish women's team, which also confirms the growth of countries in the southern hemisphere in this sport. "The difference between the line hockey and the ice hockey is this, which line can be practiced in countries with more heat, that's why it is growing in New Zealand, Australia, Namibia or South America".
As for the Spanish, their performance in these Roller Games is still good. Junior world champions in men and women, the majors are also fulfilling. The women's team is already in the semifinals after defeating Finland yesterday (3-1) and today they face the fearsome United States. "At the beginning of the tournament you think about being in the semifinals, but now things change. You fight for a title. We will not be happy with the second or third place. The objective is the title, "says Malacz.