Lashley praises women’s hockey champs
THE NATIONAL SENIOR women’s hockey players have come in for high praise from Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley following their recent success at the Aquece Rio International Hockey Championship, which was held last week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Barbados won the tournament by playing unbeaten throughout and then defeating Peru 3-0 in the final. The victory comes on the heels of a second place finish at the Pan American Challenge in Peru in October.
Lashley said that the team’s success is a great achievement and he congratulated the players for their efforts.
“I am sure that all Barbadians will wish to join me in congratulating our women’s hockey team. They returned to Barbados of course on the eve of us celebrating our 49th year of independence and I think this is a wonderful and fitting tribute to not only them but all of our hockey players.
“The Government of Barbados, through the National Sports Council, continues to dedicate itself to providing the necessary support to this team and of course to hockey generally as we continue to ensure they have the necessary facilities to improve and to get even better. The long awaited AstroTurf, as you know, is on island and all efforts are being made to ensure that the turf is installed in the shortest possible time frame,” said Lashley.
Also praising the team’s success was former secretary of the Barbados Hockey Federation, Cammie Burke, who was instrumental in getting the team to Brazil after Venezuela pulled out at the last minute.
“I always felt that women’s hockey, because of the competition among the women in the Pan Am region if you put aside the USA and Argentina, with good exposure and proper training we can hold our own. But we need to get the teams financed and well prepared and then we will see the results,” said Burke, who is the assistant general secretary of the Barbados Olympic Association.
The Aquece Rio International Hockey Championship was the test event for hockey, staged by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for next year’s summer Olympic Games in Brazil. (PG)