Street hockey continues to make successful showcases in Cayman.
The Cayman Islands Youth Roller Hockey Club hosted its third annual Cayman Hockey Fights Cancer youth street hockey tournament last Saturday. Hundreds of kids stormed the road in front of Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre.
Among them was Shawn Lansdell, 11. The St. Ignatius student states street hockey should be a permanent fixture in local sports.
“It’s good, I like it,” Lansdell said. “I wish it would come up more than once a year. It is really fun and you get to play a long time. The cause of this tournament makes me feel a lot better.
“If I was in their shoes, I would want other kids to do something like this for me.”
Lansdell plays football, roller hockey and Little League baseball. He is one of three kids, with his brother Brad also taking part in the street hockey tournament. His little sister is Mia, 7, while his mum is volleyball player Anita Lansdell and his dad is Little League coach Daryn Lansdell.
For 2013, 50 per cent of the proceeds from the hockey tournament were donated directly to the Cancer Society with the intention of funding a special project to build a new chemotherapy unit at the George Town Hospital. The other 50 per cent was injected back into youth hockey with the hopes of further developing the programme and getting more and more kids participating in the sport.
Those facts please Montessori By The Sea student Ethan Finlason, 10.
“It was very fun, very competitive,” Finlason said. “There were hard teams, easy teams and a lot of good hockey games and players out there. The cause makes me very happy. We’re having fun and helping kids around Cayman. I want to keep involved in this in the future.”
The last two years of the tournament raised funds in excess of $20,000 for local charities, including Cayman Hospice and UNICEF Cayman Kids. The roller hockey club expected to raise more money this year with the help of tournament organisers Aaron and Tania Knapik.
In 2012, many of the 160 participants were involved in the youth roller hockey league at Kings Sports Centre. Helping to organise matches on the Cayman International School campus were members of the local hockey fraternity like Dave Champoux.
This year attracted kids on the local sports scene such as Little League prodigy Adam McWatt. The officiating crew saw the likes of Champoux getting assistance from hockey star Jagger Hope, 15.
The son of Chris and Ann Hope, whose siblings are hockey player Wyatt Hope, 12 and swimmer Flynn Hope, 13, states he is most excited about the potential impact on hockey’s popularity in Cayman.
“I thought it was good having regular kids not in hockey play because the tournament can interest them in hockey,” Jagger said. “I think the impact on kids who have never played before is good.
“Hockey is a great sport, I hope more people are interested in it.
“I want it to be a big sport on Island. A lot of kids play, right now, we’re growing and one day I hope lots and lots of kids are doing it.
“The tournament is also good for the cancer side of things because you’re raising money to fight that. It does a good job of making you feel like you’re part of the solution. I have no regrets about doing it.
“We’re affecting many people’s lives by being involved however we can. I think the idea of hockey fighting cancer is based in Tampa with Vincent LeCavalier of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning.”
This year’s tournament saw four-on-four action split up into age divisions covering the six and under, 8U, 10U, 12U and 15U segments with a hockey mum category on offer. The parents put on a spirited display leaving Monette Windsor, the wife of hockey player Jason Windsor, hungry for more.
“I’m looking forward to the rematch next year, you can print that,” Monette said.