2017 Hockey Africa Cup of Nations
With the upcoming Hockey Africa Cup of Nations (HACN) that will be taking place in Ismailia, Egypt from the 22-29 October, we took a moment to ask fellow Belgotex employee Tommy Hammond, his thoughts as he will be playing for the South African team this year.
The HACN has six African countries, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, that will be taking part this year. The winner of the cup will qualify for the Hockey World Cup which will commence in 2018, making the HACN a very important tournament.
Tommy began playing hockey at the age of 10. Though not being his first choice of sport at the time, he later discovered that with perseverance and dedication he began to excel in it. Besides enjoying the sport, he plays because he has forged meaningful friendships and has had the opportunity to tour the world. Through hockey tours, Tommy has had the privilege of visiting over 20countries. The most beautiful honour he has was playing in Belgium, where he lived for a while and there met his wife. It’s no wonder he loves this sport so much. Though he has never been to Egypt before, Tommy has played in other international hockey tournaments such as the China Olympics in 2008, two World Cups, two Africa Cups, one in Kenya and in Ghana, and the Common Wealth games. He is very excited to be playing in Egypt for the first time.
Having taken a break from international hockey for almost 7 years because of injuries he had sustained in 2010, Tommy is thrilled to have been afforded the opportunity to play for his country again. The opportunity to be with friends and meet new people is something that he is looking forward to on this tour. Along with all the surprises that come with being in a different country, and experiencing new traditions as these experiences tend to strengthen the bond between the teammates. “I think singing the national anthem will be a special moment” he adds.
Going into this year’s Africa Cup Tommy explains that he can’t wait to engage with a whole new team. As there are a few new players who have joined too. Playing in this tournament is very important, and they will take it one game at a time with hopes that at the end of the tournament they will come up on top.
We wish Tommy and the South African Hockey team all the best for this year’s Hockey Africa Cup of Nations.