T&T teams invited for Rio Test event

Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB) president Douglas Camacho says his board is aiming for three other locations for artificial hockey turfs as the TTHB pushes for the further development of the sport.

Camacho and the TTHB is being supported in this development thrust by the FIH, the world governing body for the sport, and the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) both of whose presidents were also present yesterday at the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (T&TOC) House in Port of Spain.

And Camacho announced that T&T hockey teams have been chosen to participate the Rio 2016 Test event in the popular Brazilian city in November.

FIH president Leandro Negre and PAHF president Alberto "Coco" Budeisky yesterday pledged their support to the development of hockey in T&T and throughout the region.

During their visit, Negre and Budeisky along with Camacho and some of the TTHB executive met with officials from the Ministry of Sport, the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee to discuss issues, concerns and opportunities for the sport here.

Camacho said the TTHB had identified and lobbied for more hockey locations throughout the country as part of its strategic plan moving forward, to grow participation. It wants the laying of artificial turfs at traditional venues like Pointe-a-Pierre and the Police Barracks in St James and another in Tobago to supplement the National Hockey Centre in Tacarigua.

"We believe we need at least four turfs , four turfs minimum, to encourage growth of hockey and ensure the proper development of the sport," Camacho said.

Camacho added that a new artificial surface had been approved but the TTHB was still in discussions with SPORTT as to where it will be laid.

Camacho also revealed that T&T will host two tournaments next year-the Female Pan American Junior Championships and the Pan American Cup-and that the FIH will be back in T&T next year to announce T&T's hosting of the FIH World League Round Five in 2016.

Camacho added that the Ministry of Tourism had also shown keen interest in the hosting of international tournaments as another opportunity to push sports tourism.

The former TTOC boss noted that T&T's success in the last nine months had seen the country taking part in more international engagements than in the whole of the previous quadrennial.

Negre announced that one of his goals as FIH head was to really push development in this region.

"It is a key region and a lot of people don't think about the Caribbean area. But we are engaging this (area)," he said.

Negre also added that T&T would need to drive development for the youth game, organise and host tournaments and compete in high level competition against top countries to sustain development.

Negre said further that the FIH runs programmes for high performance and umpires all around the world to facilitate the growth of the game.

The FIH he said, is especially proud of the attraction of the Hockey Five format which he compared to the T20 format in cricket and which he said is " a beautiful tool to promote the game."

Budeisky said: "T&T has a big, nice history with hockey...and T&T hockey has a big contribution to make as one of the top hockey nations in the region with a lot of experience to guide the younger hockey nations in the region."