The “1, 2, 3…UWI!!!” chant rings out at the Hockey Turf just before the Cave Hill Blackbirds’ starting players take their positions for the start of a match. Supporters sit eagerly in the stands stirring up friendly rivalry with fans of the opposition, ready to cheer on the Blackbirds.

During 7-a-side competition season, the UWI Hockey turf is the perfect place for Barbados hockey enthusiasts to spend their Saturday and Sunday evenings. The mini sand-based facility plays host to nifty midfielders, stubborn defenders and daring attackers willing to lay it all on the line for the sweet taste of victory.  

Prior to 2011, Cave Hill’s men and women prepared for local, regional and international tournaments on an uneven grass field, which was more suited to the hardworking footballers. However, in the wake of a slew of outstanding performances in 2009 and 2010, the Astroturf project was initiated.

After much anticipation, the Cave Hill Campus welcomed its first hockey facility to the landscape on February 15, 2011 when the Sports Academy Cave Hill officially declared the new Astroturf open for the start of the Powerade Scrimfest Championships. Norma Nicholls, mother of UWI deceased goalkeeper Graydon Nicholls, cut the ribbon to officially open the facility with the then Director of Sport Mr. Roland Butcher.

Since the opening of the new turf, the Academy of Sport has been able to improve on existing competitions, introduce camps and junior programmes as well as generate revenue by facilitating touring teams from the US and the UK.
The Turf

The mini sand-based Astroturf is approximately equivalent to half the size of an international turf, perfect for 7-a-side hockey and hockey 5s. Spectators can enjoy hockey matches from the stands which accommodate up to 287 persons, while players have the luxury of two team rooms located below the stands. These are fully equipped with a changing area, bathrooms and toilets. During matches substitutes and team officials can be seated comfortably in their respective dugout. 

Only sneakers, running shoes or turf shoes can be worn on the turf.  Absolutely no football boots or spiked footwear allowed and the consumption of alcohol and food is prohibited within the playing area.

2009/2010 Achievements

2010 Division 1 victoriesIn 2009, the Cave Hill UWI Games hockey contingent traveled to the St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad, to improve on its disappointing performance two years prior at Mona in Jamaica. The men and women captained by Shane Lewis and Katrina Alkins respectively, were well prepared by Coach Colin Elcock and swept the competition aside. The men trounced St. Augustine 3-1 and Mona 4-2 while the women outplayed St. Augustine 2-0 and Mona 1-0. Both teams finished first and did their part in Cave Hill’s bid for the overall UWI Games title.

After returning from Trinidad, the club finished off the 2009 domestic league and prepared for 2010. In the 2010 season, the Men’s team produced nothing short of a perfect performance on their road to Premier. The Division 1 team enjoyed victories over all their opponents, scoring a total of 45 goals in 9 matches, to finally gain promotion to the Premiership! They debuted in 2011 but unfortunately the season was abandoned by the Barbados Hockey Federation due to poor facilities.

Interested in booking this facility? Contact us today to find out more about how you can host your event or practice session here!