Oct 28, 2009 Sports
– says Western Dragons
By Edison Jefford
Amid serious administrative and infrastructural challenges, the Western Dragons Hockey Club has stated that it is still on top of its game after defending its Second Division title at the just-concluded GT&T National Indoor Championships.
Secretary of the West Demerara-based club Keith Sampson told Kaieteur Sport that despite the issues facing them, the club continues to prove that they are certainly firm and a force to reckon with at the Division II level here.
“We don’t get indoor training because we don’t have a facility; we used to practice on the basketball court but that destroyed our sticks, but despite those challenges we are still on top of our game. We are pressing on,” Sampson indicated.
Western Dragons defeated Degenerates, Old Fort ‘B’ and Everest ‘B’ on the way to their second consecutive title. Sampson acknowledged the contribution of Deon Carew and Selwin Brandt in making the repeat possible.
The Club Secretary, who also plays Second Division for the club, informed that he hopes that the success of their club at that level would entice a sponsor since it is an aspect that often prevents them from further development.
According to Sampson, the players pool monies together to offset expenses that relates to them travelling to Georgetown to play. He said that it is a Herculean task to sustain a club in serious economic times without major sponsorship.
“We go into most tournaments without sponsorship. Money is always a tricky area for us but we come together and make it work. We were hoping that the Hockey Board give us some support with the sticks they collected the other day but that didn’t materialise, they said those were for coaching purposes,” Sampson continued.
The Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) had received a sizeable donation of hockey sticks less than three weeks ago. The Western Dragons Club that train at Uitvlugt ground had hoped to benefit from the international benevolence.
Sampson said that he expects that their success would prove to the corporate community that they can hold their own even as they put systems in place to graduate to the Division I level next year. He said development must be sustained.
“Based on our performance in the Diamond Mineral Water, we will know where we are locally as we project ourselves for First Division next year. The Diamond Mineral Water is in sight then next year. That’s our priorities,” Sampson indicated.
The Diamond Mineral Water tournament is usually one of the biggest and most attended hockey competitions in Guyana. It attracts international support and the top first division clubs in Guyana along with the best Division II Club.
Sampson believes that a good showing at the December 3-6 tournament will put then on course for the support they need to become a real force on the local scene. He said that he wants the club to be very professional and competitive.
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