Field hockey in Bermuda is building on the women’s national team’s encouraging performance at the Central American and Caribbean Games qualifiers in Jamaica last November.
The Bermuda Hockey Federation is setting up a national programme for the long-term development of the sport on the island.
Bermuda beat NCAA Division III side Delaware Valley College 1-0 on Saturday, thanks to Maha Clarke’s goal, and assistant coach Tse Minors says that the BHF board are working hard at bringing over regular opposition to help the sport improve.
“The board are doing their best to keep hockey going and the momentum from Jamaica is what’s keeping it [going],” Minors said. “As long as we keep training, keep playing and keep getting these visiting sides coming down on tours, that will be good.
“The opposition were fitter and faster to the ball [on Saturday], so we had to slow down and play our game. That was the real test, because they were man-marking, of how to create space, how to pull players out.”
Minors and Keishae Robinson, the Bermuda midfielder and BHF youth development officer, will oversee the junior programme, which will run alongside the seniors.
“The programme will run on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings, with juniors taking one side of the pitch and seniors the other,” Minors said. “Right now, finding coaching is a big thing for the senior squad. However, we have found people who are willing to come down to do some drills and some skill work. So that’s what the teams are going to focus on.
“The juniors programme will be spearheaded by myself and Keishae Robinson. We’re going to have different people come down and are going to focus on skills. We’ll do four weeks of a session and each week they will be graded, so we can get an idea of where they are; what they can do, what they can’t do, what they need to work on. Then after that, working on playing together as a team.
“Our goal is the Junior Pan-Ams in 2020. Seniors, their goal in 2019 is the Pan-Ams in Peru.”