Team Namibia arrives in Italy
World championship inline hockey
15 September 2021 | Sports
Weary from the travel, the team settled into the hotel and then after a hot meal and a shower reported to the World Skate facility for mandatory Covid testing. Every 48 hours all players must take a Covid test, which involves swabbing the back of the throat and the back of each nostril. Results are given in 15 minutes and all negative players are given a coloured arm band to wear so that they can gain access to the arena and play in their matches. Thus far the Namibian National team has taken two tests and all results have been negative.
Roccaraso, known mostly for its skiing during the winter, is a small Italian town nestled between two large mountain ranges. The nights and mornings are quite cool, and the afternoons are warm. The weather is perfect, and the town’s locals are very welcoming to all the countries that have descended upon them for the two weeks that the World Championships are being held.
The Namibian team got a good night’s sleep and woke the next morning for their practice time slot where the players got to skate on the rink for the first time. The rink is larger than the one in the Dome in Swakopmund and comes in at 30x60 meters. The practice went well, and all players got a feel for the rink and had a chance to stretch the legs and get moving after the long travel to reach their destination.
Namibia’s first match was against India. Despite some nervousness and jitters, the Namibian team established dominance in the match and came away with a 20-0 win. Namibia’s speed and skill were too much for the Indians to handle. Keanan Simpson and Amandus Röttcher led all Namibians in points for the match scoring 4 goals and 2 assists and 2 goals and 4 assists respectively. It was a good first game and allowed the team to really get a feel for the rink and take advantage of the space all around them. Jürgen Tegetoff was in the goals for Namibia and recorded the shutout victory.
The Namibian team has nine rookies amongst the 16 players and only three with Senior level experience, so this contest was a good game to just get all the nervousness out of the way. Namibia plays Germany today (Thursday) to finish up round robin play.
* Report by head coach Brian Sobel, from Roccaraso, Italy.