Sunday, April 21, 2024

Primary push bearing fruit

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MORE THAN 50 pupils from four primary schools had their day in the sun during the Barbados Hockey Federation’s (BHF) first Primary Schools Competition at the Wildey Hockey Centre last Thursday.The turnout was less than expected but there was keen competition among the participating schools – Lawrence T. Gay Memorial, St Mary’s, St Giles and Eden Lodge Primary. The players – some as young as seven years old – would have benefited from one of the hockey programmes being offered at their school by the National Sports Council or the Saturday coaching offered by the BHF at Wildey.The competition comprised of a skills competition, followed by a round-robin tourney. The skills portion involved challenges such as the Zoom Zoom, an exercise in speed; the Zig Zag, to gauge co-ordination; and the Push, which focused on passing.  Eden Lodge and St Mary dominated the skill challenges, each winning two of the five events and reaching a stalemate in the final one.In the round-robin tournament good hockey basics were translated into a winning formula as St Mary’s breezed through with ease, convincingly winning the final against Eden Lodge 7-0. The St Mary’s assault was led by tournament MVP Xavier Trotman, who came away with a massive eight-goal haul, and teammate Royal Trotman, who was barely edged out for the MVP award with his seven tournament goals. St Giles showed that age and size were definitely not an indication of skill when they wrested away the third-place trophy from the competitive and older Lawrence T. Gay Memorial team with a 1-0 win.BHF vice-president Roger Broomes encouraged the youngsters to continue practising hard, reminding them that they were the future of Barbados hockey and may very well be the next generation of national players.He expressed some disappointment at the number of players present, noting that the bigger disappointment was the lack of girls. Broomes said that this tournament was the first of many initiatives geared towards securing hockey’s future through the youth. He added that the federation’s youth and development committee would endeavour to make a transition from a school-based competition to a youth club competition.The vice-president gave the assurance that every effort would be made to expose young people to hockey and to provide them with adequate coaching and opportunities to develop into exceptional athletes.

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