Standard Bank Namibia yesterday unveiled a whopping sponsorship of N$500 000, geared towards the development of youth hockey.
The new programme, which will officially be known as the Standard Bank Namibia Junior Hockey Development Initiative, aims to intensify the development of hockey in all its facets across all 14 regions of the country.
It will be managed and run by the School of Excellence Hockey Club & Academy.
Top of the list will be the training of coaches and umpires as well as rolling out well-tailored development programmes to more than 100 schools.
Standard Bank’s sponsorship will be for a period of three years and will see the initiative reaching 104 schools, 2 080 learners, 208 coaches and 92 umpires by the end of year three of the sponsorship.
The initiative will be rolled out with the technical assistance of the Namibia Hockey Union and will kick off with schools in Katutura and Khomasdal, before spreading out to Okahandja, Rehoboth, Gobabis and Mariental – with the rest of the regions to follow thereafter.
Deputy sports minister Emma Kantema-Gaomas hailed Standard Bank for throwing its weight behind the initiative, saying it is another bold step forward in helping Namibia realise her dream of professionalising sport and producing top-class athletes.
“We appreciate companies like Standard Bank, who accept the responsibility to augment government’s efforts and provide for our young men and women by investing in sport. This smart partnership is through the visionary leadership of Standard Bank, who believe that investing in the youth is not only a moral obligation but is imperative to create sustainable development,” she said.
“However, the only time business relationships between corporate entities and sport associations/federations prove to be fruitful for both parties is when the partnership adheres to strict corporate governance’s practices. The School of Excellence must ensure they remain a professional initiative, including the coach and support staff in order to protect the sanctity of the agreement, and provide the brand value Standard Bank Namibia has been promised.”