The Barbados Hockey Federation (BHF) hosted a local Tri-Nation Women's International Hockey Series between national teams from Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday June 28, Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1 at the Wildey Hockey Center. This women's series was the first accredited international competition in the country since the Women's Pan American Cup held in 2004, some 14 years ago.
With the Central American & Caribbean Games (CAC) scheduled for July 20 to 29, 2018 in Barranquilla, Colombia, the Series provided the teams with much needed match preparation, as all three nations will be competing in the CAC Games for a place at the 2019 Pan American Games, to then challenge for 2020 Olympic qualification.
Barbados national women's coach Donovan Smith stated, "The Series was a good test run before CAC. We are in the fine-tuning phase and this type of preparation shows where we are and where need to be to as Colombia approaches." Smith is a former Barbados national defender and CAC Games veteran, having represented Barbados as a player in three past CAC Games, where he earned silver and bronze. He will be hoping for his first silverware as coach at this CAC.
In addition to the competition experience, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago took the opportunity to get some pitch time on Barbados' new artificial sand in-fill surface, as it is expected that the playing surface at the CAC Games in Colombia will be the same type.
Commenting on the series, first time captain of the Barbados women's national team, Ayanna Wilson, said "It’s a tremendous honour at such a young age to be the captain of the senior women’s Hockey team. The series is a good preparation for the CAC games. Tournaments like this are needed for the growth and development of Hockey in Barbados." Wilson, 20, with 22 international caps, is leading a squad with an average age of 25, which includes a mix of young talent and veteran national players.
In addition to the players, local Hockey umpires and technical officials were also featured, with an all-Barbadian technical team, led by local veteran international Technical Delegate (TD), Cameron Burke, whose most recent appointment was to the Hockey Series Open International Event in Salamanca, Mexico earlier this month.
BHF President Mark St. Hill was pleased with the progress of the tournament, as he said, "It's a remarkable achievement of the [BHF] Board to be able to host an international tournament so quickly after the return of the Hockey Turf and it forms a key element of the preparation plan for the Women’s National Team as they prepare for next month’s CAC games."
Kofi Hinds, BHF Secretary and member of the Local Organizing Committee, mirrored the President's sentiments and added, "It is indeed a tremendous opportunity but also a tremendous challenge and the team has been putting in a tremendous effort to make it happen. We definitely need to thank the Barbados Olympic Association for their overwhelming support in making this Series possible and assisting with the resources to help our national programmes with their CAC preparations - they also are supporting our men's team with a preparation tour to the UK in a couple of weeks. We also need to extend thanks to our other supporting sponsors, committee members and partners as well, such as our Operations Director Jason Robinson, our streaming partners Riveting Media, Jordan's Supermarkets, the Barbados Beach Club Resort and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and many others."
Most Promising Umpire: Richanne Gaskin (Barbados)
Most Outstanding Goalkeeper: Alysa Xavier (Guyana)
Golden Stick for Most Goals: Brianna Govia (Trinidad & Tobago, 2 goals)
Series MVP: Amanda George (Trinidad & Tobago)
1. Trinidad & Tobago - 7 points
2. Guyana - 5 points
3. Barbados - 3 points
Thursday (Jun 28)
GUY vs. BAR: 1-1
GUY #19 Shebeki Baptiste 13' (FG)
BAR #19 Ayanna Wilson (C) 58' (FG)
GUY #5 Marzana Fiedtkou 13' (PC)
Saturday (Jun 30)
TTO vs. BAR: 1-0
TTO #8 Brianna Govia 40' (FG)
GUY vs. TTO: 1-3
TTO #8 Brianna Govia 4' (FG)TTO #4 Felicia King 25' (PC)
TTO #10 Brittney Hingh 27' (FG)
GUY #13 Princessa Wilkie 49' (FG)
Sunday (Jul 1)
BAR vs. GUY: 1-1
GUY #7 Trisha Woodroffe 40' (PS)
BAR #23 Nakisha Downes 60' (PC)
BAR vs. TTO: 0-0