NIIHA State Wars trails a blazing success

03 November 2020 | Sports

Two years ago, the Namibian Ice- and Inline Hockey Association (NIIHA) held trials for young players aged 7 to 12 for a tournament called State Wars. That trial saw 45 kids attend, of which 33 were selected to represent Namibia. The team won 7 medals in 7 divisions, including 5 gold.
This past weekend NIIHA once again held the same trials and were blown away by the nearly 70 young players who attended and gave their best. As a result, 46 players were selected to represent Namibia at State Wars in 2021, to be held in St Peters, Missouri, just outside of St Louis.
NIIHA President Bernd Bajorat said of the trials: “We were very happy with the turnout this year. There was a high level of excitement amongst the players and the parents. Everyone is energized and eager about the future of the sport. The efforts we are making to develop our program from the young ages will have a big return in the future.”
However, he said that it is more than just sport. “These opportunities have a transcendent ability and they open up the world to these young Namibian players. State Wars has nearly 20 countries competing and nearly 400 teams playing. These events are not just about performing well, but also about being healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Coming back with new experiences, friends and a better understanding of the world is something we are happy to be able to offer the young Namibian players and their families.”
Bajorat went on to add, “Last year one of our players, George Tjaahapi, delighted fans with his skill and play at State Wars and drew the attention of 2-time Stanley Cup winner and NHL player Pat Maroon. The two have become friends and they keep in touch.”
George was selected for teams again this year and he looks forward to representing Namibia once again in 2021.

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