Is fist ball fading away?
Namibians have shown very little interest in fist-ball, as fist-ball is only battled out in Windhoek and Swakopmund and only consists of two league divisions.
The sport which is similar to volleyball seems to be fading away because 20 years ago the sport enjoyed more action as it consisted of three league divisions and matches were carried out across the country in Windhoek Swakopmund, Otjiwarongo, Tsumeb, Keetmanshoop and Gobabis.
The Bank Windhoek Fist-ball season kicked-off last weekend and media relations officer for the Namibia Fist-ball Association, Helmo Minz said that an absolute low will be reached this season as only three teams in the first division and five teams in the 2nd division will be participating.
“Even 10 years back when I was a youngster there was still a youth and mini league. Today we find ourselves with hardly any youth at all,” said Minz.
Minz said that their league is funded by the Bank Windhoek, adding that, “We received once off support from the sports commission last year but never received any funds in the past. We are solely reliable on our initiative, which I find is very lacking in Namibia. Everyone expects that the government funds everything. The earlier people understand it the better.”
Despite these drawbacks, Fist-ball is dynamic sport which requires quick reflexes at times and absolute calm moments when setting. Minz shared with enthusiasm the excitement that comes with the rush you get when scoring, which is almost the same as when scoring a goal in football, just that you can celebrate more often since there are 11 points in a set and four sets have to be played to win the game.
“Fist-ball players are basically like a goalkeeper in football. If one individual makes a mistake it will probably result in a goal and that’s the same in fist-ball, which for me is something thrilling,” he said.
Last year the Namibian fist-ball participated in the World Championships held in Argentina and the team managed to clinch the 9th position. According to Minz their aim was to finish in the top ten, despite coming up against seasonal and experienced teams.
Meanwhile, to those Fist-ball fanatics, there will have something to look forward to in July as Cohen Fist-ball Club will celebrate their 50th birthday which will feature a number of festivities as well as a tournament.
The newly formed South African national team is expected to pay a visit which then will allow for the first ever international match between Namibia and South Africa.