South African men's hockey team lands a sponsor

It has been a tough going for the South African men’s hockey team in recent times. Financial constraints have often come as a roadblock to their preparations for various major events – the most recent being the 2012 London Olympics.

Taking part in overseas tournaments was getting tough on the South African men’s hockey team, which was without a major sponsor.

In fact, some of the members of the South African men’s hockey team have come forward to address the funds crunch – these player often dipped into their own pockets to cover the costs of conducting training camps and participating in various tournaments (home and overseas).

For a country, which is placed 12th in the FIH world hockey rankings, such a state of affairs was unexpected.

The men’s team braved the odds and successfully took part in the 2012 London Olympics as well as in the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

All the worries about running from pillar to post, arranging funds for training camps and participation in various tournaments would be a thing of the past now as the South African Hockey Association (SAHA) has roped in quick service and casual dining restaurant franchisor Famous Brands Limited as the sponsor of its men’s hockey team.

The South African Hockey Association (SAHA) has signed a two-year sponsorship agreement with the restaurant franchisor. It effectively means that the South African men’s hockey team can focus whole-heartedly on the upcoming FIH Hockey World League semifinals slated to be held in Rotterdram, the Netherlands this June as well as the 2014 men’s hockey World Cup, which will be held in Hague, also in the Netherlands.

It is learnt that the South African Hockey Association (SAHA) is chuffed with the latest sponsorship agreement as funds crunch can take a back seat for now.

The general thinking is that if the men’s team fares well in major tournaments like the Hockey World League and the World Cup, more corporate houses could line up to sponsor the team.

It may be pertinent to mention that the South African women’s hockey team had snapped up Investec as its sponsors in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Thus, the sponsorship of the men’s hockey team must be a welcome relief for the South African Hockey Association (SAHA).

Earlier, the South African men’s team qualified for the Hockey World League semifinals by finishing in the top two in the second Round 2 tournament held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

South Africa pulverised Brazil 9-0 in their opening match riding on a fine hat-trick by Clint Panther. They thumped the USA 6-1 in their second match before drubbing Trinidad and Tobago 10-2.

South Africa then went on to lose 2-4 to Argentina before wiping out Chile 6-1 in their final league tie.

Lloyd Norris-Jones did the star turn for the South Africans, pumping in as many as nine goals in the competition.

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