SA Men’s Hockey team in crowdfunding bid to get to Tokyo Olympics
The South African Men's Hockey team need to raise between R3.5- and R5-million to compete at the Olympic Games, which kick off in July.
They've teamed up with Matchkit.co in a bid to realise their Tokyo 2021 dream.
The SA Men are in a pool with world champions Belgium, Great Britain, Holland, Germany and Canada.
The team are ranked 14th in the world.
"That will tell you a medal is not beyond the realm of possibility" says coach Garreth Ewing, "but it will be a bit of a long shot."
In conversation with Bruce Whitfield, Ewing acknowledges that it's a race against time to get the funding but he is optimistic.
The publicity we've generated from it and the conversation we've started are definitely going to help us move us in the right direction towards a sponsor.Garreth Ewing, Coach - SA Men's Hockey team
We're very confident that we're going to raise the funds we need between now and Tokyo.Garreth Ewing, Coach - SA Men's Hockey team
It's not only the two or three weeks that you're there. It's the preparation phase as well.Garreth Ewing, Coach - SA Men's Hockey team
Now with the world slowly opening up again... We've got to find the opportunities to train and play against opponents to prepare, and that's one of our biggest financial challenges.Garreth Ewing, Coach - SA Men's Hockey team
Why is it so hard to raise funding for hockey in South Africa?
Is it because the sport doesn't draw the crowds like rugby or soccer? asks Whitfield.
Ewing notes that an estimated 250,000 people in South Africa play hockey, across every demographic.
We do get a good TV audience, especially when we are playing in India, but I think the local market still needs to learn a little bit about us.Garreth Ewing, Coach - SA Men's Hockey team
It's a huge opportunity for us to build towards the World Cup in 2023... We've got to see it as part of an investment in future success.Garreth Ewing, Coach - SA Men's Hockey team
R3.5 million will pay most of our costs. I won't get a salary... but as long as we can pay our players' costs.Garreth Ewing, Coach - SA Men's Hockey team
If you'd like to help, visit matchkit.co.
Listen to the interview with Ewing in the audio below:
Source : https://www.facebook.com/SAHockeyMen/photos/a.1475545935831958/3728577257195470/