Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | February 8, 2013
Home : Sports
Hockey coach hails team
Natalie Neita-Headley (left), minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for sports, and Tahnida Nunes (centre), Digicel's sponsorship manager, take a close look at the figure-skating silver medal won by Tamra Mitchell (right) at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday shortly after the national team returned home from the Special Olympics Winter Games in South Korea. Jamaica won silver medals in figure skating and floor hockey at the Games. - Contributed
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer

Yolanda Reid, coach of Jamaica's floor hockey team which won a silver medal at the Special Olympic Winter Games in South Korea two days ago, said yesterday that the team did well, despite injuries and illness that affected some of the players.

"Well, first I must commend the team. We did extremely well as injury affected Andrew Hines (shoulder), while Shawn Myers suffered from illness after the first game. Other players were also injured (during the tournament)," Reid told The Gleaner. The team arrived home at 5:45 a.m. yesterday.

"That (the injuries and illness) was our disadvantage. We lost in the final because of the injuries. Omar Brown played with an ankle injury, he showed lots of guts. But under the circumstances the team did well," she emphasised.

Jamaica, gold medal winners in the floor hockey at the Games four years ago, lost 2-0 in the 2013 final to Hungary. Both teams met three times during the 2013 edition and Hungary won twice.

NEED MORE FUNDING

Looking ahead, Reid, coach of Manchester in the nation's special olympics competition, said more money needs to be pumped into the programme.

"We need a lot of sponsorship. I am appealing to sponsors to come and help us as we've made Jamaica proud. I think these guys did well and much was not done for for them," Reid noted.

She thanked telecommunication giants Digicel for their assistance. Reid said that head of delegation Glendon West motivated the team a lot.

In the first round, Jamaica lost 2-0 to Hungary, then won against USA (11-2), Trinidad and Tobago (7-0) and Venezuela (8-0). After been placed in the highest division against Hungary and T&T on a round-robin format, Jamaica beat Hungary 4-2 and crushed T&T 4-0. Then lost in the final to Hungary.

Michelle Rowan of Westmoreland and Valerie Murphy of Kingston were the assistant coaches, while Patricia Lue-Chin was the team physiotherapist.

Meanwhile, Jamaica also picked up two silver medals in their historic appearance in figure skating at the Winter Games.

Nigel Davis won a silver in Singles Male Level One ice dancing event before he combined with Tamra Mitchell in the Team Level One category for silver medal.

The next Winter Games is set for Australia in 2017.

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