Women’s hockey team to compete in Indoor Pan Am Cup
- GTT makes G$2M donation to national team
By Avenash Ramzan
Guyana’s senior national Women’s hockey team will travel to the USA later this month to compete in the Indoor Pan American Cup, with the hope of improving on their performance from 2017 when the tournament was last held in Guyana.
Four years ago, debutants Guyana finished sixth in the seven-team tournament at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, with just a solitary win from their six games. Powerhouses USA played unbeaten to win the championship.
This year, Guyana and four other nations will compete in the round-robin competition in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, the others being hosts USA, Argentina, Canada and Uruguay.
On June 25, the opening day of the tournament, Guyana will play defending champions USA and 2017 runners-up Argentina, followed by clashes against Canada and Uruguay the following day.
The final and third place playoff will take place on June 27.
Coach Philip Fernandes is optimistic about the national team’s return to international competition after such a long layoff. The aim now, Fernandes explained, is to build on the experience gained in 2017.
Several players from the highly successful national junior hockey programme have been included in the squad, and they are eager to test their skills at the international level, Fernandes divulged.
“The team is well prepared. They do have a blend of junior talent and experience, and I think they would be very competitive,” Fernandes said.
“It’s difficult for the team to win the tournament, which is what would be required in order to make it to the World Cup in Belgium in 2022, but once the team is performing as well as it can, anything is possible.”
Meanwhile, GTT, a longtime supporter of hockey in Guyana, made a contribution of G$2 million to the national female hockey programme.
Fernandes said the Hockey Board is grateful for the assistance, noting that GTT has been a partner in hockey for more than two decades.
“It has sponsored our Ladies national team in the past, and the sport actually owes quite a bit of its development to the company in terms of this kind of support that was lent back then,” the Hockey Board President highlighted.
“Once again, we see a renewal of that relationship between GTT and the Guyana Hockey Board where the company has agreed to sponsor the Women’s national hockey team for 2021. It’s an important occasion because of course the team is returning to international competition after everything was suspended for the previous year due to the COVID pandemic.”