Street version really got rolling

The first ever annual Street Hockey Tournament: Cayman Hockey Fights Cancer at Camana Bay was a big success, with over 160 entrants.

Taking over the street to raise money for paediatric cancer, kids and moms took to the courts beside Cayman International School for a day of hockey on Saturday.

With the majority of players gaining their hockey experience from King’s Youth Roller Hockey League, one component of the tournament was to have one member of the team not be in the league.

This caveat helped introduce kids to a new sport and help grow the hockey program in Cayman. Roller hockey is a relatively new sport to Cayman that’s catching on. To have 160 kids and moms in a street hockey tournament when there are under 200 kids in the Youth Roller Hockey League is impressive and shows the local interest.

Street hockey, played in running shoes, requires minimal equipment and in most cases can be done with a plaster hockey stick. Some players in the tournament preferred to wear their hockey gloves or shin guards, but for the most part it was running shoes, plastic sticks, and an orange ball, making street hockey an inexpensive activity that can be done in drive ways after school or on weekends.

The tournament was a great success, raising funds over $9,000 for these paediatric cancer related charities: CI Cancer Society, Lightning Foundation and Unite for the Fight.

Unite for the Fight is a charity founded by Vinny Lecalvalier, captain for National Hockey League team Tampa Bay Lightning. The Tampa Bay connection relates to the CI Youth Roller Hockey Club’s ongoing relationship with Tampa Bay Lightning. For the past two years, many children from Cayman have attended the Lightning ice hockey camps in Tampa, with 30 kids scheduled to attend later this month. Some of them will have the opportunity to go on the ice between periods and play a fun match at a National Hockey League game.

There were six divisions in the tournament: Mites (Under 6), Novice (Under 8), Atom (Under 10), PeeWee(Under 12), Girls (8-13), and a Mom’s division. The Mom’s division proved to be much more competitive than expected. With only three teams entered this year, more are expected next year as the Desperate Housewives try to defend their title.

There was also a skills competition which involved clothes dryers and microwaves positioned along the basketball courts with doors open. Kids and adults could take shots and try to score, perfecting his or her slap shot and working on raising the puck.

Organiser Amy Arnold said: “Other competitions included a goalie outfitted in full equipment trying to deflect tennis balls being fired out of a tennis ball machine.

“This fundraising event wouldn’t be possible without the tournament sponsors that include Camana Bay, Mourant Ozannes, Ernst & Young, Walkers, Trident Trust, GreenLight RE, BritCay, and The Security. We are also grateful to Foster’s Food Fair, Flowers Bottled Water, and Progressive Distributors for drink donations for the event.”