The opportunity to represent your nation at the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup is almost always a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these young South Africans. Whilst the teams are beaming with talent, it is not without its challenges.
A significant part of this process and programme for these young players is self-funded. This means that they have to not only try to compete with the best in the world but also fund it themselves whilst completing their tertiary education or juggling their work. These hurdles have highlighted the team’s unyielding spirit to overcome and rise above the challenges they face on a daily basis.
ProTouch Africa has extended its digital platform partnership with the South African Hockey Association to provide the ability to administer and manage crowdfunding campaigns, using its Podium Pursuit Platform. Today it launched its first series of campaigns aimed at helping to fund the U21 National Teams who have qualified to participate in the 2023 FIH Junior Hockey World Cups in Malaysia and Chile.
We are calling on HOCKEY FANS to assist us in getting these talented young players to the World Cups so that they can take their rightful place and compete on the World Stage. Fans can contribute via the set-up crowdfunding campaigns or by purchasing SA Hockey’s new 2023 replica jerseys. The teams’ Jersey sponsor TK South Africa will donate R100 for each purchase made into the campaigns.
U21 Women’s Team
The South Africa U21 Women’s Team were crowned African Champions yet again in March 2023 securing their spot at the global showpiece in Chile. Having achieved a brilliant 7th place finish at the delayed 2022 World Cup held in South Africa, they will be eager to stamp their mark even harder in Chile. Taheera Augousti and Ntsopa Mokoena will be central to the team’s success bringing their experience from the senior national team into the Under 21 setup.
Men’s U21 Team
As part of the journey to qualification, the Men’s U21 Team debuted at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia in 2022. In this tournament, the team secured a remarkable come-from-behind victory against eventual champions India, who have a well-financed programme at home. The African side also secured double victories against the hosts Malaysia as well as competing admirably against Australia, Japan and Great Britain.
In March 2023 they went on to compete in the Junior African Cup in Ismailia, Egypt. The team ended up as champions of Africa where they sealed qualification to the World Cup that will be held in December of 2023, securing a title they had lost in the previous editions.
As part of their further preparations, the team will once again take part in the Sultan of Johor Cup from the 27th of October to the 4th of November 2023. This time they will be taking on even tougher opposition with the participating teams being: Australia, Germany, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and Malaysia.
The team playing in the Junior World Cup will be led by Mustapha Cassiem. He made his debut for the outdoor South African national team in February 2020 in a test match against the United States. He competed in the 2020 Summer Olympics. In August 2021 he was nominated for the FIH Rising Star of the Year at the FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2020–21.
In 2023 he competed in the Men’s Indoor Hockey World Cup where he was named the Best Junior Player of the Tournament which came a month after he represented South Africa at the Men’s Senior Hockey World Cup in India. At the culmination of this event he was named JSP Foundation Best Junior Player of the Tournament.
All donations above R250 go into a draw to WIN a special edition Supporters Shirt, donations of R500 go into a draw to WIN a replica 2023 SA Hockey Jersey and donations of R 1000 or more receive a double entry to the Replica Draw.
It would be the greatest of tragedies not to have the men’s and women’s African Champions battling it out for the ultimate glory of becoming the best in the world. At ProTouch Africa we are determined to allow these talented teams to fly the South Africa fans. In a final call to hockey fans, please do your part so that we can do ours.
Photo credits: REG CALDECOTT
ABOUT PROTOUCH AFRICA
PROTOUCH AFRICA is a purpose-driven and for-profit Sports Tech, business founded in 2016 with the purpose to enable African Athletes to perform on the World Stage. It is pioneering new ways for fans to interact and engage with their favourite teams, leagues and athletes and enable alternative revenue streams.
ProTouch Africa’s Podium Pursuit Collective is focused on creating a transparent and sustainable funding mechanism for the next generation of African Athletes. Its vision is to launch the World’s first fan-owned impact investment platform for African Athletes, by assembling an ecosystem of top-performing athletes, their fans and the brands that support them.