The Jamaican Olympic Ice Hockey Federation at the preliminary tryouts in Toronto, Canada a few days ago.
While Jamaica the island of sun-splashed beaches has as many hockey rinks as it does bobsled runs — exactly none — the goal is for Team Jamaica to compete with the world’s hockey powers at a Winter Games in the next eight to 20 years.
“If we can pull this off, you’re looking at an inspiring story and the idea that anything is accomplish-able if you put your mind to it,” says head coach Graeme Townshend, 48, the first Jamaican-born player in the NHL.
“If Jamaica can get a team in the world championships or the Olympics, that’s like a miracle. It’s something that’s so outlandish that I think it actually might work.”
Townshend, a former skating coach with the Maple Leafs, will be putting prospects through their paces at a talent identification camp at Westwood Arena. At least 30 players, from as far away as Sweden, Alberta and Virginia, are expected at the tryouts.