Two Cayman Islands boy and girl mixed roller hockey teams are on their way to Florida this weekend for top level competition.
With the 8 and Under and 10U teams both winning gold in the East Coast Hockey Organisation Coastal Cup Tournament in Atlanta last April there are high hopes for the two teams as they head off for the ECHO Fall Classic in Fort Myers on Friday.
Both teams are well prepared and hope to bring home more roller hockey championships. The 8U squad is extremely thankful for the support of their sponsor Dart Cayman Islands who stepped in to assist with the cost of their ice time to prepare for the tournament and for new jerseys when it appeared there would be no teams from Cayman attending.
The Dart Ducks look to make Cayman proud attempting to duplicate their gold medal success and demonstrate how even a small country can successfully compete on a much larger stage given enough desire, hard work and community support.
Coach Aaron Knapik said: “The kids worked very hard heading up to the Atlanta tournament last spring but were still quite apprehensive about their challenge against rivals from much larger cities.
“However, as they played together as a team their effort turned into success and their confidence grew. Their best team effort was in the final game and we were so proud to see them prevail as champions.
“The kids emerged with an attitude that even a team from a small Caribbean Island could win against the best teams from the US. The players trained all summer with renewed vigour and after four days a week of hockey this fall are very excited to challenge for the championship again.
“Success breeds success and we are confident that as more children in Cayman hear of inspiring stories such as this they will be eager to train and compete on the wider stage, whether in roller hockey, other sport or elsewhere in their education or career paths.”