Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Adidas hand over hockey kit

At an informal ceremony on the Friday before the start of the Investec Challenge series at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town, adidas handed over their new kit to the South African national women’s hockey team, due to play against England, Australia and Netherlands.

The South African national women's hockey team with their new kit from  adidas South Africa

The individual team members were introduced to adidas staff members with much bantering, joking and good-natured ribbing. As MC and adidas marketing director Gavin Cowley explained: they wanted to bring the adidas head office staff closer to the athletes they sponsor so that they will identify with them when they see them compete.

Gavin Cowley (middle) introduces hockey captain Marsha Marescia, coach Giles Bonnet and top goal scorer Pietie Coetzee to adidas’ staff

They also gave the team a poster-sized mounted photograph of them wearing their new adidas kit.

Coach Giles Bonnet and captain Marsha Marescia receive the team photo from adidas’ Gavin Cowley

Adidas has been the team’s technical and off-field apparel sponsor since the beginning of 2012 – but the team had to wear sponsored clothing from Erke during the Olympics, explained retired team member and again full-time adidas staff member, Kate Woods.

Players are presented the photograph of their new kit

“The kit comes from the adidas MiTeam range, customised in our national colours,” she explains.”Our team therefore benefits from the global adidas technologies like Climacool, Formotion - which combines several different fabrics with different properties in a shaped garment - breathability, etc.”

SA hockey team members admiring their new adidas kit

Apart from the South African women’s team, adidas is also the clothing sponsor of the men’s and women’s teams of top hockey nations like Netherlands, Germany, England and Belgium.

adidas ball with SA women's hockey team signatures

Two South African team members – striker Izelle Lategan and defender Lisa-Marie Deetlefs – are also contracted to play with adidas sticks.
Head coach Giles Bonnet – who also coaches the Netherlands club Pinoke – explained the benefits several of the team members derived from playing professionally for Dutch clubs during their season (September-December and February-May).

SA women's hockey team coach Giles Bonnet addressing the crowd

In an unofficial match before the start of the series (4–10 February) the reigning Olympic gold medalists and world champions beat the South African team 2-0. South Africa is again meeting the Netherlands in the Investec Challenge on February 7th.

South Africa’s top striker Pietie Coetzee broke her world record by bringing her international goal tally to 260 goals in 259 test matches and 13 goals in 6 tests in the test against England on February 4. She shot two goals against England in the match won 4-1 by South Africa. The next evening South Africa and Australia played to a 1-1 draw. In the unofficial pre-test match South Africa beat Australia 4-0. 

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