Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (FP)
Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, has called on more Barbadians to get involved in hockey in the schools and at the community level.
She made the comments yesterday, while declaring open Banks’ 24th International Hockey Festival, at Kensington Oval.
The Sports Minister praised the Barbados Hockey Federation for its dedication to the development of hockey locally and welcomed the participants to the island. "Barbados is blessed to host this competition, especially now, as it promotes Barbados internationally and as it brings tourists to Barbados. Of course this festival attracts young people and I am all about seeing the young people exposed to good, clean competition; exposed to a healthy lifestyle, to fitness and to physical activity," she stated.
Meanwhile, President of the Barbados Hockey Federation Inc., George Bennett revealed that there were plans to expand the Festival over the next three years as a means of increasing its contribution to sports tourism. "One of our main aims is to double the number of teams over this period, thus reinforcing this festival as one of the largest and most enjoyable in the world," he said.
It will also comprise a week of activities, including an island-wide rum shop crawl, a water sports day for children and an awards/dinner show. Matches will be played at the Hockey Centre at the Astroturf in Wildey, Kensington Oval, Banks Sports Club in Wildey and the Police Sports Club, at Weymouth.??
The Festival, which will run from August 16 to 22, attracted 52 teams. There are 19 international teams from 10 countries – Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Guyana, Italy, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela. Thirty-three local teams are also participating.