Jamaica's hockey team aims for Olympics
Published Friday, May 12, 2017 10:00PM EDT
Former Boston Bruin player Graeme Towsnhead is hoping to coach Jamaica’s national hockey team all the way to the Winter Olympics.
“I remember saying many times the only chance I’d ever have of playing the Olympics is if Jamaica had a team,” Townshead told CTV News Channel.
Now Townshead is the head coach, assistant coach, trainer, water boy, and a stand-in during a power play for the Jamaican Under 20 National Ice Hockey Team.
While the thought of the Jamaican hockey team brings to mind the 1988 “Cool Runnings” bobsled team who competed in the Calgary Games, this team has a bit more experience.
The players are from Canada and the U.S., but they all share Jamaican heritage. Unlike the iconic bobsledders, these guys have been playing hockey their whole lives, many of them playing in the OHL.
This weekend the team is in Dartmouth, N.S. for a training camp and pair of exhibition games.
“We want to wear the jersey with pride and, you know, show we can play with anyone at the highest level,” said player Jaden Lindo.
But even though they have a hockey team, they are missing a few crucial elements to get full membership and start competing in the world championships.
For example, they still need some home ice.
"Currently an arena in Jamaica does not exist. That is our job, to make that a reality so that's what we're working towards," said Townshead.
The road to the Olympics may be long for this underdog team but as Townshead said: “You’ve got to start somewhere.”
With a report from CTV’s Todd Battis