32 teams to do battle at Hockey Festival
THE Barbados Hockey Festival will see 32 teams competing this year.
And six of those are overseas participants, says Barbados Hockey Federation secretary Kofi Hinds.
The visiting teams will include three from Trinidad and Tobago, two from United States and one from United Kingdom.
This year’s Festival will run from August 18 to 24 and will be contested in four categories – men’s, women’s, mixed and masters.
Last season’s tournament featured 34 teams, including eight overseas entrants.
The tentative schedule for the week including the competition and social events will see the opening ceremony, exhibition match, meet and greet and Bajan Lime on the Sunday which precedes Monday’s action ahead of a games night, Tuesday’s matches and Festival Karaoke, Wednesday’s competition and half-time fete.
Thursday is a beach day with no matches, ahead of Friday’s semi-finals and Festival cruise and Saturday’s finals and a final whistle kooldown jam.
Men’s champions Du Badd will be defending their title while mixed powerhouses Sentry Rockets and the UWI Blackbirds will be trying to dethrone A Badd Connection as the mixed title-holders. A Badd Connection also hold the women’s title.
YMCA masters, who play as Y’s Guys, were last year’s champions and will face some competition this year from the New York Islanders, who will be fresh from their own domestic matches.
Hinds said the turf at the Wildey Hockey Centre is in much better match condition this year since it has been groomed and has entertained local competition over the last few months but they are also hoping to utilize the neighbouring Barbados Football Association’s Wildey Turf to host a few of their matches.
They are also hoping to be able to host two overseas umpires to conduct an umpires and technical officials training seminar during the week. (RG/PR)