TWENTY eight members of the Falkland Islands Hockey Association Youth league are in Punta Arenas, Chile for their very first overseas competition, the Copa Invernada ice hockey tournament.
The brave youngsters, who make up teams Bombers, Wolverines, Knights and Dragons, all skilled roller hockey players, are adapting to ice skates for the matches and on Monday coach Grant Budd said they were all skating superbly.
Next week an all girls team will play a girls team from Punta Arenas and two Falklands National Team games will be played against a mixed team from the three different associations/clubs in Punta Arenas.
It's not easy though; not only are they on ice, but the court is longer and narrower and the players fewer on each team. They area lso adapting to using the curved wall as ‘another player’ explained team coach Grant.
The youth matches begin at 0930 on Wednesday July 6 and the adult games later in the evening.
The Falklands also has a senior team partly made up of guest players, Ryan and Michaela Bahl, former hospital Path Lab manager Jonathan Nicholson, Craig Dockrill (formerly of Falklands Conservation), Ruben Torres from Punta Arenas, plus Falklands residents Marco Leyton, Antoine Daille, Stu Duncan and Grant himself. On Monday evening they played a friendlypractice match against a Chilean team and won comfortably.