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Hockey folk break the ice

Randy Bennett

Hockey folk break the ice

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High camaraderie among teams competing in this year’s 28th Annual Banks Barbados International Hockey Festival was evident during a social held at the Cricket Legends Pavilion Sunday night.
Players from local, regional and international teams could be seen mingling and moving to the beat of some sweet calypso, which helped create a warm ambience.
It marked the first time that the festival wasn’t launched with an official opening ceremony and parade of teams, due to the unavailability of an appropriate venue.
However, the social was well received, especially by England’s Durham Jesters, the lone international team competing this year, whose players “wined and dined” throughout the night.
In his brief remarks, David Rouse, Barbados Hockey Federation president and chairman of the Festival Committee, admitted that hockey was “facing its most challenging time”.
Despite these challenges, he said, the festival still provided “fun on the grass” as it engaged the players throughout the one-week competition. He revealed that as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations in 2015, they would be looking to invite 30 overseas teams to compete in the festival.
Rouse finished his time at the podium with words of advice for participating players.
“Have fun, play fair, and drink lots and lots of Banks beer,” he told an appreciative audience.
The night’s event also featured some exciting performances from Dance Tropical, fire-eater Cassius Clay, and Lolita, who thrilled the crowd with limbo-dancing.