Male hockey team leaves today for Pan American Championships in Venezuela

Guyana’s national male hockey team departs today for the Indoor Pan American Championships in Barquisimeto, Venezuela scheduled to be held from August 9-15.

Venezuelan Ambassador Dario Morandy (sixth from left) in a photo opportunity with the national hockey team yesterday at his Thomas Street office. (Orlando Charles photo)

The team will be competing against nine other nations in Group A for the round robin tournament. The other teams in that group are Argentina, Canada, Peru and host Venezuela, while  Group B consists of Barbados, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and the USA.

The team leaves Guyana today it will play Trinidad & Tobago in a goodwill game before going to  the South American country on Friday morning. Further, the hockey players will be rounding up their preparations for the tournament in the twin island republic today from 14:00 hours.

Guyana will be leaving for the tournament conscious  that that they had narrowly missed a bronze medal in the last tournament in 2005 in Canada when they lost to the USA 6-7.

Meanwhile, members of the team said yesterday that they will be going to Venezuela to win and they will be playing at their best  for Guyana. Some also said that they will be using this tournament as a learning experience to improve their game on all levels.

The players also acknowledged that they will be playing in a strong group and therefore they will have to step up the level of their game if they are going to advance to the playoff stage. They stated that they are in high spirits and the team has a talented crop of players, including one developmental player, Cordell Yearwood.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the team’s visit to the Bolivarian State, it paid a courtesy call on  Venezuelan Ambassador Dario Morandy yesterday at Thomas Street, South Cummingsburg. While at the office Morandy, speaking through his translator Sharon Balasar, told the team that hockey is an emerging sport in his country and that it is usually played in the middle and upper classes.

The ambassador, who has been stationed here since 2007, told the players to explore Barquisimeto, which is the capital city of the State of Lara in west central Venezuela, halfway between Caracas and Maracaibo on the Turbio River.

Morandy observed that the city has strong agricultural/industrial roots, and is surrounded by two of the largest vegetable-producing regions in Venezuela: the Valle de Quíbor and Sanare.

According to Wikipedia the city was founded by Don Juan de Villegas in 1552 and named Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto. The city was moved several times before 1563, when the town finally settled in its present location.

Today Barquisimeto is a modern city, the fourth most populated in the country.

Team: Jerazeno Bell, Devin Munroe, Alex Gouveia, Shane Samuels, Robert Fernandes, Marvin Danette, Robert France, Azad de Abreau, Michael Xavier, Dwayne Scott, Adereme Simon and Rayon Branford.

Developmental player: Cordell Yearwood

Head Coach: Timothy Mc Intosh, Assistant Coach: Renee Edwards and Manager: Gavin Hope

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