Johannesburg - Wits University has proclaimed its readiness to host 20 hockey national teams, for both men and women categories, in the upcoming 2017 Hockey World League semi-final meeting which kicks off next Saturday.
The 20-team event will comprise of two South African teams - men and women - with the likes of Argentina, Australia, Germany and Belgium who are all in the world’s top 5 men rankings.
The games will be played at Wits Hockey Turf at the university’s Education Campus in Parktown between July, 8 and 23.
Adrian Carter, the head of Wits Sport, said they ready, willing and able to host the world.
“It’s been a cooperative effort from all our stakeholders in making sure that we tick all the boxes from safety to medical and other organisational components of a sporting event of this magnitude. We’ve never done anything like this. This is the major event in the history of Wits Sport as far as I can remember. We are delighted to contribute to the beautiful game of hockey and that our facilities are able to attract international events to South Africa,” said Carter.
The university’s hockey turf, built in 2013, is one of the few turfs in the country that meets the International Hockey Federations’ (FIH) rudiments and it was for that reason that the facility was awarded the honour to host the event.
Carter said this hockey spectacular will leave a legacy behind for future sports stars to benefit from.
“It’s going to raise our sport profile as Wits Sport and as a country. And the income generated from it will go straight into a programme that we will be launching on the 17th of August this year which is going to offer great opportunities for young South Africans,” said Carter.
Carter said the further details of the programme will be communicated on the day of the launch.
Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Japan, Ireland, France, Egypt and South Africa.
Ireland, India, Poland, England, Argentina, USA, Germany, Japan, China and South Africa.