Wed | Oct 18, 2017

New hockey boss promises to grow sport

Published:Wednesday | December 14, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Stewart
Action from a Pan American Games hockey qualifier between Jamaica and Cuba at the Mona Hockey Field in 2010.
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While some might consider local field hockey to be in a dormant state, new Jamaica Hockey Federation president Fabian Stewart wants to establish strong and consistent governance to elevate the sport's profile nationally.

Stewart was a national junior and senior field hockey representative and coach, serving at the national, club and collegiate levels.

According to the new President, the sport needs "realism and optimism going forward".

"It is very important that we establish stronger and consistent governance of the hockey federation; we can't operate outside of good government structures," he pointed out.

Stewart outlined that the country's male and female ranking internationally, which are around the high 50s and 60s, respectively, should be improved.

"We know that most sports are driven by the success of the senior national team, so we want to set up the sport that it allows for success at the higher level," he continued.

The local hockey federation, based on its constitution, is run by committees and professionals. Stewart wants to be proactive, and make the organisation self-reliant.

"We have to try to generate as much revenue as possible, look at revenue opportunities as we are one of the few associations that have a home ground," he told The Gleaner in an interview.

"We are definitely looking to maximise revenue from events held there, using it as an entertainment centre, and trying to benefit from the use of the facility for some revenue," Stewart underlined.

He wants investment in local talents at the high-school league level, and improvement in the quality of coaching.

Stewart was unopposed as a presidential candidate, and will lead the local body over the next two years.

The Jamaica Hockey Federation's leadership is completed by Dave Lemard, who will serve as honorary treasurer, and directors Carlton Campbell and Michelle Thomas, respectively.

Stewart will look to bring his extensive experience in management to his new role. He arrives with more than 18 years experience at the senior level in business development and operational management at JAMPRO; the High Commission of Canada; FIMI Investment Jamaica Ltd (FIMI Group); ASAPH Promotion and Distribution Ltd.