Talk about rising stars in Namibia and the name Kiana Cormack will definitely come to mind. The 16-year old had a superb tournament at the recent Indoor Hockey Word Cup in Berlin where Namibia ended ninth and the starlet scooped a personal accolade.
On top of the national team’s impressive performance at the global showpiece, Cormack had her own moment to celebrate after netting nine goals in six matches. This made her the joint top goal scorer alongside Yana Vorushylo of Ukraine.
Namibia ended ninth in the competition, the highest the country has ever managed. The starlet, who was once just a little girl running around watching her older sister play for the Namibian colours, has now become the new blossoming crop of the national hockey side.
Namibia was the only African team at the competition after eliminating continental powerhouse South Africa to secure a place at the world cup.
“This was my first World Cup and biggest tournament in my life. It was so amazing. There were so many people and it was far from what I expected. The atmosphere was so alive and I’m so proud to have been part of the experience,” beamed the striker.
“In the beginning I was really overwhelmed and it did not really get to me when I was named top goal scorer. It is only now that I look at it and I appreciate what I got. To start with, I did not even think I was going to score a single goal in the world cup,” she added.
Although she played upfront, Cormack says she is a versatile and composed player who can play comfortably almost anywhere on the field. Her skill and meteorice rise to fame has earned her international recognition from European clubs that are scrambling for her signature.
“I definitely want to play in Europe but I will take my time for now.
I will always play hockey after school because I need the education first. So it will be a bonus if I could study and play in Europe,” said the grade 11 pupil who currently studies in South Africa. Cormack, the youngest member of the team, joined the team in November. She did however not take part in the qualifiers due to a knee injury.
“Since I am the youngest player of the team, mine was just to go out there and do what I could. A lot of people questioned why a young player of my age was placed on the team so I had to go out there and prove my worth.
“It was exciting playing for Namibia and I am blessed to have the best team mates. They welcomed me with open arms so blending in was not an issue at all.
Cormack said she started playing hockey when she was five. Her biggest encounters are playing in the PSI. This is a tournament that develops South African and Namibian players.
The tournament takes place every year in Cape Town. At these tournament, she has collected the Player of the Tournament palm five consecutive times.