In some parts of the world, a few die-hard underwayer hockey players share their passion, even going so far as to create clubs. From Africa to America via Europe and Asia, focus on these little-known countries of underwater hockey. Sixth episode with Angola.
Like a fish in water. Lambulas, a variety of sardines, are emblematic fishes of Angola. It is also the name chosen by the national underwater hockey team of this country of a thousand faces, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. In 2017, Laercio Candido organized the first underwater hockey trainings in the nautical club of the capital, Luanda. Now president of the club, Laercio discovered the sport in Portugal. Edward Fischer was one of his first disciples and since then, his investment has been unwavering. ‘I’m responsible for the technical part of the training. I’m also the eyes and ears of underwater hockey in Angola.‘
A lightning rise
Just a few months after the first training sessions, it was time for the first competitions. The Angolan team, composed of a majority of former swimmers, was invited to participate in the Interclub championship of South Africa. An experience renewed in 2018 and 2019. ‘These are my best memories. We left our mark in the championship‘. An ultra-fast development, symbol of the ambition of Angolan underwater hockey players. Now well equipped, the Lambulas want to live up to their goal: to participate in the World Championships. ‘We are working hard to reach the tactical and technical level of the big teams like South Africa, France or Turkey.’ However, to reach their goal, Edward and his teammates are on their own.
Fighting for recognition
Underwater hockey in Angola is not supported by the Ministry of Sports and has no official federation. Its clubs are therefore not recognized by the country. ‘Each player has to pay for the trip if he wants to go to a championship, the president covers the rest‘.The road to the world championships will not be a long one for the Lambulas. Before perhaps a cascade of success.