Hockey Star Set for Debut with Blackbirds in BHF League
Nakira Downes transfers from All Stars to join Blackbirds
With the absence of Josanne ‘Thicky” Thomas and outstanding defender Chemika Ellis, the road for the UWI Hockey Blackbirds (women) seemed to be a rather rough one in this year’s Barbados Hockey Federation (BHF) Premier league action, until the transfer of hockey ‘junky ‘ Nakira Downes.
In an interview conducted with the young talented player, Downes stated that what sparked the transfer was that her former club, All Stars, was demoted from the top division to Division I. “As a national player I shouldn’t really be playing in that division [Division I] so I chose the Blackbirds since I attend the University there. It’s the only club I can see myself fitting into outside of All Stars” she explained.
Downes has been involved in the sport from the time she could walk. She spoke lightheartedly  about her enjoyment of the ‘peewee’ stage  at age 3, and her first taste of the ‘big league’ at age 6, when she got put on the pitch only to touch the ball and then be substituted .
Since her younger days, Nakira went on to make her international debut for Barbados in 2007, when she represented her country in the Caribbean Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad. She also scored her first international goal at that competition, helping her team to a 3rd place finish. Subsequently, she was selected as the vice captain of the Barbados U21 team to participate in the 2008 Pan American Junior Championships held in Mexico City, and also made the senior team for the 2010 CAC Games.
Although Downes represented the Blackbirds at the 2011 UWI Games, Downes is excited about the move and looks forward to hockey with the Blackbirds for the very first time in the BHF League. She is expected to make her debut tomorrow when the team takes on CSOS at the Wildey Astro Turf.

- Nevin Roach -