Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Stewart down to work after JHF re-election

Published:Tuesday | December 1, 2020 | 12:12 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Jamaica’s Ombretta Gordon (left) shields the ball from Guyana’s Shebeki Baptiste during the women’s final of the CAC Games Hockey Qualifiers 2017.
Jamaica’s Ombretta Gordon (left) shields the ball from Guyana’s Shebeki Baptiste during the women’s final of the CAC Games Hockey Qualifiers 2017.
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Having won another term as president of the Jamaica Hockey Federation (JHF), Fabian Stewart says that his immediate focus will be re-engaging clubs and players as the association targets a resumption of play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stewart defeated challenger Richard Wisdom by 28 votes to 21 at the JHF’s annual general meeting, which was held virtually on Thursday. Collington Rowe was elected as honorary treasurer, while Carlton Campbell was elected ahead of Roderick Rowe for the director position on the board.

“What we are aiming to do is that we have to continue to compete,” Stewart said. “So, we’re aiming to, right off the bat, start some virtual-type competitions just to keep our stakeholders, our clubs engaged and just [resume] the sport.”

Stewart said that a COVID-19 protocol for the resumption of hockey has already been sent to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the JHF is tasked with including additional measures to create a more “comprehension plan” which is currently in development. A part of the plan also includes instituting health measures that will facilities the return of clubs and players to the Mona Hockey Field.

“We are also developing the protocols that are required to allow people to access the facility,” he said. “That is something that we are looking at – for small groups to be able to go to the field and train.”

He acknowledges that a target date for a return would not solely be up to his administration, as they were hoping to resume activities in September.

“We just have to allow the evaluation of the protocols and then follow the directions of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Sport because, ultimately, our primary objective is growing the sport, but it is built on the foundation of the safety of all our stakeholders,” Stewart said.

However, in the interim, Stewart says that virtual sessions for coaches have continued as part of the JHF’s development programme, as well as sessions to improve the quality of officials. Additionally, he says that he has no problem working with Wisdom t0 grow the sport locally.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com