About a year ago i got wind that Jamaica was accepted as an IIHF affiliate member which blew my mind . Really had no clue anyone was even considering ice hockey there . Immediately i went on site and found out through some research who is their president of this newly formed federation . Soon enough i found Edmond Philllipps is their president and i found him on Facebook and sent a message to congratulate him . That was about a year ago ... he replied and then things got quiet .
Little did i know that the federation was hard at work putting their plans together for an arena and to assemble a squad . About a month ago i found out they were coming to Toronto to do some scouting and they had a great turnout and unfortunately i could not make it but heard about it first hand when i passed through Denver and made a point to meet up with Edmond which ended up being for more then just a beer . Edmond lives there and we met up at Joyride Brewery .
We talked about pretty much everything but firstly i mentioned that they should spread out their tryouts next time they come here as Toronto has a few key neighborhoods with Jamaican communities like in Scarborough and even around Jane/Finch area which they should reach out to . Edmond was excited to tell me that the Subban brothers showed up to skate with them and we spoke about their possible eligibility , regardless it is great they got and have that support ! I also mentioned their aspirations to compete in next Olympics which is a tough uphill almost impossible battle . They need a rink first and they must meet other IIHF stipulations to compete in world championships ... Edmond told me they already have land and are waiting to begin building a rink in Jamaica :) WOW , now that's a trip i am looking forward to :P
If they have a rink and have a team and have certified coaching staff and begin working on ground roots stuff to gain membership then i don't see why they shouldn't be playing . Easier said then done though .... Edmond realizes that it is not an easy task . I figure the best way to get things rolling is to help them get sponsors and people willing to contribute and that is why i am writing this now . Hopefully the right person reads this and decides to contact them to help ! If you are on Facebook you can like their page and contact them through there .... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamaican-Olympic-Ice-Hockey-Federation-JOIHF/214685205349004?fref=ts OR you can look up their website online and contact them there www.JOIHT.org .
Also have tried to put our Jamaican friends in touch with some other federations to hopefully kick off some crazy exhibition games . Hopefully i will get to watch a Jamaica vs. Morocco match some day :) how awesome would that be ? Here is a link to Jamaica's info on IIHF page http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/countries/jamaica/ . I know most of you are reading this thinking yeah right !!!! this isn't real ... seriously this is real , keep an open eye because Jamaica is getting ready to compete ! GO JAMAICA :)