The Guyana National women’s hockey team received a welcome boost from sponsors Cassia Water and Igloo ice-cream when the local brands threw their weight behind the local ladies in an effort to improve Guyana’s chances for medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games which commenced on July 17 and ends on the 31st in Mayaguez Puerto Rico.
The ladies arrived in Puerto Rico last Friday and despite some difficulties in the beginning, including delayed flights, the loss of some luggage and postponement of the opening ceremony, have settled into the camp for hockey in Salinas on the South Coast of the island.
The opening ceremony for the games was held on Sunday instead and Guyana was represented by the ladies hockey team and the chef de mission, Mr. Deion Nurse, who were the only members of the Guyanese contingent to arrive in time.
Team captain, Tricia Fiedtkou was entrusted the task of flag-bearer to lead Guyana into the stadium.
The ladies play their first hockey match of the competition tomorrow against 4th ranked Bermuda at 13:00hrs. Their other pool matches are on the 24th and 26th against Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago respectively.
The team in the meantime have been making use of practice times on the artificial pitch at the Estadio Idelfonso Sola Morales in Caguas where the competition is to be played. According to Coach Philip Fernandes, while the girls view all the matches as critical, all their focus at the moment is on the opening game against Bermuda which is vital for the team’s confidence.
Fernandes indicated that since the team is relatively inexperienced, their performance is likely to be heavily affected by the outcome of the first match.
While he has not seen Bermuda play for many years, he expects them to be strong, but not at the level of the Trinidadians and Bajans who have more players from which to choose.
The top two teams in the competition, aside from Mexico, will qualify for the Pan American Games scheduled for Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011.
Mexico has already qualified by virtue of being hosts for the games.
The other pool in this competition comprises of second seeded Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
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