The Barbados government is committed to developing the game of hockey on the Caribbean island.
It follows Bridgetown’s hosting of the recent Junior Pan American Championships. In the women’s competition, USA were crowned champions winning the finals against Argentina, with Chile winning bronze. In the men’s competition reigning junior World Champions Argentina were dominant throughout, scoring 31 goals in 4 games and winning the finals 6-1 against Canada, with Chile finishing in third.
Minister of Sports, Charles Griffith acknowledged that Barbados still needed to do more to improve the game of hockey, and it was evident from what he saw because “we are a little behind in terms of our hockey skills.”
He added that he was hopeful that the Junior Pan Am Tournament would help to improve and move the game forward in this country.
“I will commit to say to the local Hockey Federation today that Government will make BDS $20,000 in the first instance available to you for developmental initiatives,” Minister Griffith pledged, while stressing that this was just the first instance of support, and Government was determined to ensure that hockey was played all across the country.
He noted that recent junior tournaments staged by the National Sports Council in primary and secondary schools were not enough to compete with the standard of play seen at the Junior Pan Am Tournament.
The Sports Minister congratulated the winning teams, Argentina, Canada, and Chile, who qualified for the Junior World Cup, while he commiserated with those who did not make it, but expressed confidence that in the not-too-distant future, Barbados would be lifting the trophy.
Barbados last hosted the tournament 23 years ago.