It was a night that won’t soon be forgotten. The 2023 Namibia Annual Sports Awards, hosted at the Dome, Swakopmund, saw the halls lined with Namibia’s finest athletes and sports personalities.
The red carpet paved the way to another historical first for the Namibian Inline Hockey community, when three out of the four category nominees won their respective coveted titles.
The four category nominees were:
- Junior Sportswoman of the Year : Christine Röttcher
- Referee of the Year : Lars Dobberstein
- Coach of the Year : Brian Sobel
- Sports Team of the Year : Namibian National Junior Ladies
The inline hockey was thrilled when the first win for the night went to Lars Dobberstein, bagging the win for Referee of the Year. Dobberstein expressed his gratitude to the community for their support before rejoining the rest of the nominees whose attention then fell to Christine Röttcher who won the award for Junior Sportswoman of the Year. In Röttcher’s absence, National Coach Brian Sobel accepted the award, while her team mates excitedly celebrated her success with a video call to her to share the special moment with her. The night ended on a high when the Namibian National Junior Ladies team won the Sports Team of the Year award. Assistant captains, Leighzené Coetzee and Ieesha Hilukiluah took to the stage to accept the award, but then stated they felt the entire team should join them on stage to receive the award. The stage quickly filled with the young players whose nominations – and win – was a result of their World Championships win in Argentina at the World Skate Games in 2022 and their 2nd place win in Belgium at the European Championships in 2023. This big win for the night took the girls by surprise, but some media outlets noted this as “the expected win for the night” due to their major success.
The night marked the first time that any Namibian Inline Hockey category had won.