The year 2022 provided bucketloads of interesting results and memories for Namibians on the sports fields and courts of the world – and this year, local sportsmen and women will get more opportunities to excel at what they are good at.
Today, we highlight some of the international and local sports events athletes and fans can look forward to in 2023:
The Indoor Hockey World Cup, which takes place in Pretoria, South Africa, from 5 to 11 February will see Namibia’s men’s and women’s national teams competing against some of the best indoor hockey teams in the world. The men’s team is drawn in Pool A alongside Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and New Zealand, while the women’s team is pitted in Pool B alongside Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The Namibian teams have been working hard in training and are determined to make a strong showing on the international stage, showcasing high-intensity matches filled with skill, speed and strategy.
The African Cup of Nations qualifiers in March will see Namibia’s Brave Warriors, who are in Group C and third on the log, standing with one point, face off against Cameroon in home and away matches. The Brave Warriors played to a one-all draw against Burundi in June last year and with Kenya disqualified from the competition, the Namibians should maximise their chances of going to the next round of the qualifiers.
After lifting the Cosafa Cup for the first time in 2015, and after narrowly losing to Zambia (0-1) in July last year, the Brave Warriors will later this year get another chance at glory in the competition. The women’s national team will also be competing, which is a great opportunity for them to showcase their skills and compete against some of the best teams in the region.
The highly anticipated Gaborone International Meet (GIM), which is set to take place in April in Gaborone, Botswana, is another exciting competition that is quickly gaining popularity among international athletes. Attracting around 100 athletes from Namibia in the past, the GIM provides a valuable opportunity for Namibian athletes to gain exposure to international standards and is definitely an event that fans and athletes should mark on their calendars.
The World Athletics Championships, which take place in Hungary from 19 to 27 August, are yet more highlights for track and field athletes and fans to look forward to. Namibia is expected to be represented by some of its top athletes, including Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, who will be competing against some of the best sprinters in the world.
The Rugby World Cup, which takes place in France in September and October, is one of the biggest events in the world of rugby. Namibia’s Welwitschias will be competing in the tournament pitted in Pool A alongside host nation France, Uruguay, Italy and heavyweights New Zealand – and they will be looking to register their first win in the competition.
The 2022/2023 Debmarine Premiership season, which returned in November after a three-year break, will resume in February. Football lovers have already seen plenty of exciting matches and impressive performances. The first and second-division leagues, which also resumed action together with the top-flight league last year, will also continue where they left off last year. The Women’s Super League is also returning soon after a three-year period of inactivity caused by leadership crises.
The Namibia Basketball Federation will host one of its biggest tournaments of the year – the Independence Cup – in February and March. This event will bring together teams from across Namibia, as well as neighbouring countries like Botswana to compete for top honours in Windhoek.
Athletics Namibia (AN) kicks off the season on 9 January with the annual Quinton-Steele Botes (QSB) Training Camp. This event is a great opportunity for up-and-coming athletes to gain exposure and for talent to be discovered. Other exciting events for athletics enthusiasts this month include the National Cross Country Championships as well as the first edition of the AN Grand Prix, taking place at the end of January in Swakopmund.
The local Cricket League, set to return on 14 February, is not only an exciting event for fans, but it also provides opportunities for cricketers to gain valuable experience and be scouted. This league has become one of the most highly anticipated events in the country. Get ready for an exciting season of cricket that offers opportunities for players to showcase their skills and potentially take their careers to the next level.
The ever-growing MTC Netball Namibia Premier League is returning for its third season in March. This elite league sees the country’s top teams competing for the championship title.
The return of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Premier League is definitely something players and fans look forward to in March when Wanderers will be launching their title defence. It’s sure to be an unforgettable season of action on the pitch.
The Namibia Volleyball Federation(NVF) will again host its biggest event of the year – the NVF Bank Windhoek Doc Open tournament – in Swakopmund’s Dome on 1 and 2 April. This highly anticipated tournament will bring together the best volleyball clubs from across the country to compete for top honours. In addition, the Khomas Volleyball league will kick off on 11 March.