Monday, April 15, 2024

Hockey hope


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Plans are?again in?the?works?for the Barbados Hockey Federation’s (BHF) badly damaged artificial turf at Wildey to be replaced.
According to a reliable source who asked to remain anonymous, the BHF will receive 50 per cent of the funding from Mexican businessman Mario Vázquez Raña, who is also president of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).
The source revealed that the BHF was currently in negotiations with the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) on finalizing a deal to secure the balance.
Reports reaching WEEKENDSPORT are that work on relaying the new surface is set to commence in January, although the cost of the project was not disclosed.
When contacted, president of the BHF David Rouse declined to comment, saying only that he would speak to the media at a later date.
With the new surface also set to be water-based, plans are also underway for work to be done on the AstroTurf’s drainage system.
The news will come as a huge relief for hockey players and fans, after a proposed deal which would have seen the laying of a sand-based AstroTurf pitch, fell through earlier this year because of financial reasons.
Having been laid in 1996, the AstroTurf pitch has long exceeded its seven-year life span.
With one of the island’s biggest sporting events, the Banks International Hockey Festival slated to begin next month, it will mark the second consecutive year that the AstroTurf facility will not host any games due to the dilapidated field.
Despite its condition, league games were still being played at the synthetic turf, although the BHF’s league was scheduled to finish yesterday with the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus’ hockey AstroTurf hosting both the men’s and women’s finals.
Back in 2011, then vice-president of the BHF Roger Broomes had expressed his concern about the state of the surface, claiming that it was damaged beyond repair and in dire need of replacement.

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