Big plans for 2016

Hockey festival ends tomorrow

This year’s Barbados Hockey Festival might have been low key but president David Rouse has assured that great plans are in store to bring back the hype and excitement many have grown accustomed to in the sport.

Speaking with Barbados TODAY at Kensington Oval where the 30th edition of the festival is taking place, Rouse said that the reason the August 16 to 22 festival did not receive the kind of hype they had grown accustomed to was due to the lack of sponsorship to assist in marketing and broadcasting the event.

Shane Lewis of the University of the West Indies (left) takes a swing at the ball.
Shane Lewis of the University of the West Indies (left) takes a swing at the ball.

He however explained that going forward they had plans to revive the festival and among these was to move the festival from mid- August to the last week in the month.

“Going forward we hope and expect that 2016 will be a great year because the AstroTurf is expected to come on stream very shortly and once that happens I believe we are going to have stakeholders willing to come on board with us in terms of funds.

“I must say I am pleased. I think we had an excellent tournament this year even though we only had three teams from overseas. The fans have been enjoying it, the players too and I want to highlight the new time device that we have that has helped our timing to be excellent. What the timing device does is it signals the start of the game as opposed to blowing of the whistle. So if you miss that time you will just start late. So it is just a horn that we use through a device where our technical people time it [the horn],” Rouse said.

Jada Prescod of the University of the West Indies outruns Matthew Williams of Du Badd Crew.
Jada Prescod of the University of the West Indies outruns Matthew Williams of Du Badd Crew.

He added: “I think it is something that we will use going forward because the teams have commented on it and they have responded positively. It helps in such a way because persons who want to come and play a game and then have to go back to work, they know that when their game is one o’clock they can come and be ready for a game at one and be finished when it is supposed to. So it is working out very well,” said Rouse, who was quick to point out that it did not cost any significant amount of money to put such a system in place.

The President explained that as soon as this year’s tournament ends they were definitely going to start marketing for 2016.

Maple veteran Venslough Leacock (left) tried to get past Jean-Pierre Brien of New York Islanders who did well to produce a good stop. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)
Maple veteran Venslough Leacock (left) tried to get past Jean-Pierre Brien of New York Islanders who did well to produce a good stop. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

“We have already put the dates out on the website and we will start to push it as soon as this one is over and put packages together so that when teams come they can have lunch so they don’t have to leave. We will also include a night cruise that will be a form of fundraiser and maybe a couple other things but so far that is the direction that we want to go.”

On the actual field of play today, in men’s action Du Badd Crew defeated De Grasshappers 3-0 on penalties after the scores were tied 3-3 at regulation time. In the other semi-final ABC beat All Stars 4-0.

In women’s play ABC defeated Du Badd Crew 3-1 and in the other semifinal Maple got the better of UWI Blackbirds 3-2. In Mixed action, UWI Blackbirds defeated Du Badd Crew 2-1 while ABC beat Rockets 1-0.

In the veterans’ semifinals, NY Islanders won 5-4 on penalties against Maple after finishing 1-1 during regulation time. All Stars defeated ABC 6-2 in the other semifinal.

The tournament concludes tomorrow.

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