The Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) in collaboration with the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) has staged two successful hockey courses in Guyana to coincide with their prestigious Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Hockey Festival. With the Festival entering its 10th year, the decision was made for the coaching and umpires courses to capitalize on the opportunity, making them indoor focused and benefiting from the high quality of games that can usually be expected.
For the umpires course PAHF engaged the services of FIH umpire Mr. Constantine “Gus” Soteriades of the USA, a two-time World Cup indoor umpire, who travelled to Guyana for the first time. The course engaged the participation of 16 umpires ranging from PAHF level right down to beginners.
Participants in the course benefited from dialogue on the preparation and requirements for the role of an umpire, along with video analysis and discussions on rule interpretation. Umpires also got the benefit of officiating in matches during the festival and receiving first-hand feedback.
Following the course, Gus has identified to PAHF several people who show potential for further development, thereby supporting PAHF’s initiative to develop more umpires and officials from the region. The participants of the course have indicated a heightened enthusiasm for umpiring following the course and the GHB is excited and optimistic by the result of the course.
The coaching course was conducted by PAHF coach Anthony Marcano of Trinidad who is familiar with Guyana and many of the personalities in local hockey, having competed for many years in Guyana and against Guyana. Fourteen coaches attended the course which involved presentations, discussion on game tactics and team preparation, as well as practical sessions on the court and game analysis of festival matches.
Anthony and Gus also collaborated for one session allowing a cross-discussion between coaches and umpires which turned out to be a highly beneficial segment of both courses.
As well as indoor hockey, both courses dedicated some time to the learning and understanding of hockey 5s. This was well received as this format of the game had not yet been played in Guyana. The GHB has committed to some trial activities in hockey 5s early in 2015. The GHB wishes to express its gratitude to PAHF and to both conductors, Gus and Anthony, for what it considered to be successful and beneficial courses.