The Inter-Secondary Sports Association ISSA/Jamaica Hockey Federation, JHF, Under-19 High School competition got underway with the playing of four games at the Mona Hockey Field on Tuesday.
In the lone game played for girls, Denbigh High beat Wolmer’s Girls 3-0, while Jamaica College were the only winners on the boy’s side when they thumped Kingston College 6-0.
The other two boys’ games ended scoreless between Denbigh High and Excelsior and Campion College and Clan Carthy.
The nine versus nine competition for boys is being contested by 10 schools while the seven versus seven for girls is being contested by seven schools.
Posted by Alrick Swaby | 8 Mar, 2023
Hamilton, Bermuda– The Jamaica Men’s National Field Hockey Team secured automatic qualification to the 2023 Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games by placing 1st at the recently concluded CAC qualifiers in Bermuda from April 14th – 17th.
Jamaica’s Richard Harris was voted Most Valuable Player with Brandon Clark getting an award for leading Goal Scorer in the tournament.
The Female team played extremely well but were unfortunate to end the tournament in 3rd position on four (4) points, with Bermuda and Puerto Rico, first and second respectively on seven (7) and five (5) points respectively. Jamaica’s Shakira Elliot copped the award for the leading goal scorer for the tournament.
The Women’s team still have the possibility of qualification, based on the fact that the Games have now been moved from El Salvador to Dominican Republic, whose women team have already qualified. This creates another qualifying position that would have been reserved for the host country. Therefore, according to Alberto “Coco” Budeisky the President of the Pan American Hockey Federation that qualifying spot will/should be awarded to the 3rd place (Jamaica) from the Bermuda Qualifiers.
“This was possible only through the tremendous partnership with the Jamaica Olympics Association (JOA) based on assistance with the delivery of our continued coaching development programs, provision of strategic guidance and the contribution of critical resources for tournament participation. Thanks to the stewardship of JOA’s President Christopher Samuda, and Managing Director, Ryan Foster and the entire JOA staff, Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF) will now be represented in the CAC Games in the Dominican Republic in June 2023,” said the JHF in a statement.
THE SPORT of hockey is set to get a shot in the arm come the middle of this year, with the Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF) set to host the Pan American Confederation Hockey5s World Cup qualifiers in early June.
President of the JHF, Fabian Stewart, confirmed the news to The Gleaner after his team recently held an event-management workshop in preparation for the tournament.
Two facilitators, Trinidad and Tobago’s Maureen Craig-Rousseau from the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) and Argentinian Laura Macchiotti from the Pan Am Hockey Federation, were in the island preparing the JHF for
the upcoming event, which will see between 12 and 16 international teams coming to Jamaica in a bid to seek qualification to the first Hockey5s World Cup to be held in Oman in 2024.
Host Oman, Belgium, Poland, and the Netherlands have already qualified from the Euro Championships, with Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria qualifying from the African Championship on the men’s side.
Among the women, hosts Oman, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia have already booked their ticket to the inaugural event.
Stewart says 12 teams have already confirmed their interest in the Pan Am qualifiers, with the United States, Canada, and teams from Central America and the Caribbean eagerly anticipating the tournament.
“We expect most of the teams represented in the region because it presents a less expensive opportunity for smaller countries of making their way to the World Cup,” said Stewart.
First played in preparation for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Hockey5s is a super-fast, highly skilful, short format of hockey that is designed to be adaptable to multiple surfaces.
“Hockey5s is like the T20 of hockey. It’s a smaller game, much faster with end-to-end action as the ball cannot leave the field. It’s five players to a team instead of the traditional 11, and we anticipate a very exciting tournament,” said Stewart.
Stewart and his team have their hands full, as the JHF will be sending a female team to Cayman this weekend to participate in a three-game tour of that island against a Cayman Invitational team.
Stewart says the games will form part of the national team’s preparation for upcoming tournaments.
“Apart from the Hockey5s tournament, we have the Central America and Caribbean Games coming up in June, which both the male and female teams have qualified for. The tour to Cayman was conceptualised to give the female team some exposure and experience before the games mid-year.”
Seventeen players are expected to make the trip to Cayman, along with national coach Nicole Bradshaw.
Jamaica Hockey Federation President Fabian Stewart says the federation remains very hopeful that they will be able to contract the services of a highly respected Argentine coach.
Stewart revealed that the engagement with the South American, which is supported by the International Olympic Committee Solidarity programme and the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), has gone a very far way.
Although the new coach would only work on an intermittent basis, with his main focus on the youth programmes.
“He would not come permanently, he would come at various time span.
“We are also in talks with (JOA President Christopher) Samuda to have a permanent solution to coaching.
“We have gotten some development work that we were embarking on, like getting local coaches certified and get them to work with the (national) teams and have the Argentinian work alongside them,” he said.
“So we are looking for better and more improved performance against some of the better teams in the region, based on the development work and that (coach) being in place.”
And though the coronavirus pandemic has stalled the discussions, Stewart said the Argentinian is still very interested in taking up their offer.
“The Argentinian coach is still interested. We have submitted the paperwork and just await information, but nothing can’t go ahead right now; and it would be premature to give a timeline at this stage,” he said.
Following government approval for national team training, president of the Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF), Fabian Stewart, is anticipating that approval for competition is not far behind.
The approval for senior men’s and women’s teams to begin preparation for the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) qualifiers in April is the first activity for the sport locally in 18 months due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
However, Stewart is hoping that the protocols and procedures they put in place will lead to the return of some local club competitions soon.
“We got the approvals in December, and we have been sensitising a group of individuals because there are certain things to be done, records to be kept, procedures and people to put in place to ensure we have the type of procedures that will keep us safe,” he said.
“We have done the work, and the national team has a very close engagement, a qualifier for the CAC Games in Bermuda in April.
“The national team will start their preparation in a very short time for that qualification tournament, and it is absolutely important we participate because we have been out of competition for two years and two years out of the international ranking,” he pointed out.
Stewart said lack of activity locally has curtailed development of the sport and there is an urgent need for the resumption of club competitions.
He noted, however, that things will not be the same and that stakeholders must work in accordance with the new requirements for the sport to return fully.
“We may not be able to have spectators based on regulations. But the fact that we have done and cemented the procedures, we can look to then start having smaller junior and senior tournaments.
“Once you have the national team training, we will have all the procedures in very short order,” he said.
“We are looking at having smaller competitions called hockey five. We will have to go back and apply for the competition itself, but we are looking to have the hockey five competitions so the clubs can plan and start their rebuilding process.
“I do not think we are far off from actual competition, however, the competition that we are going to introduce will have to be modified and mindful of protocols
“Therefore, we cannot have the same type of competitions as procedures have to change, and that is what we are working on,” he stated
After nearly two years of dormancy, Stewart said they would also have to work on revitalising the clubs and players but that they are ready for the challenge.
“When you have over 18 months of layoffs, we anticipate that we will have to redevelop, remotivate, and re-energise our clubs.
“It would be foolhardy to anticipate that you would automatically have the same level of participation.
“This COVID environment will be extremely challenging for sports because we are talking about participation, health, spectator engagement, and resources.
“So it is going to be a very difficult to rebuild hockey based on the current environment, but like we did before, we are going to face this challenge,” he stated.
President of the Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF), Fabian Stewart, said with more preparation time, Jamaica can be very competitive at the Central American and Caribbean games (CAC), which is set to take place in El Salvador next year.
Jamaica men’s team qualified for the CAC games after topping their qualification group over Puerto Rico and host Bermuda on the weekend to claim one of the two qualifying spots.
However, despite their dominance in midfield and defence, their profligacy in front of goal left a lot to be desired.
Nevertheless, he believes that with more time to work on this aspect of their game, a top-four finish could be in the making. Finishing among the top four would mean automatic qualification to the Pan Am Games.
“Both (men and women) teams did very well based on the training and preparation time. So I have really strong praise for the coaching programme.
“From the games it was clear that the Jamaicans were extremely dominant in the defensive and midfield thirds.
“However, both teams had trouble in terms of their conversion in the final third. But the number of attempts, penetrations and penalty corners indicated a level of dominance in attack but we just weren’t able to put away the chances,” he said.
CAN BE RECTIFIED
He thinks this can be rectified before the tournament, and he is looking at a top-four finish despite having to step up in class.
“It was due to the short preparation period and it is a fairly young team with a lot of the players getting their first senior cap, and I am pleased with the performance of both teams.
“We now have more time to prepare and we will be competitive. This (CAC) level is a little higher but apart from
the confidence that we have in the technical staff, if the structure that was used continues to improve, we will be very competitive.”
According to Stewart, there has been much progress and continuing the trajectory should make for a competitive national programme.
Though, he said, there was still was much fundamental work to be done.
Stewart also noted that the women, who finished third in their qualification group, might still have a chance of advancing to the games, but have to await word from the organisers.
“The men automatically qualified because they won the tournament. The women got the bronze medal but there is still a possibility of them qualifying. The president had signalled that a third spot would be awarded from the
tournament and that we will know very soon,” he said.
The Jamaican men’s team drew 1-1 with Puerto Rico, beat Bermuda 4-1 and 1-0 and drew 1-1 again with Puerto Rico in the return game.
They topped the group with eight points, followed by Puerto Rico on six and Bermuda on one.
The women lost 2-1 to Bermuda, drew 1-1 with Puerto Rico and beat Guyana 1-0 to end the tournament in third with four points. Bermuda topped the standings with seven points, two more than Puerto Rico, who both qualified automatically.
JP Farms Brand Manager Gayon Douglas (left) trades happy smiles and gift bags filled with tasty St Mary’s snacks with Jamaica Field Hockey Women’s Senior National team players Imauny Linton (centre) and Jonel Witter on Wednesday, January 25, ahead of their trip to the Cayman Islands to play a series of matches in preparation for the 24th Central American and Caribbean Games. St Mary’s donated five cases of its snack products to the 16-member squad.