Special Olympics Jamaica’s top international goal scorer, forward Orion McCaw, helped his team achieve a big first for Jamaica. The Maroons are the first Special Olympics team to compete in the annual Canada Cup Floorball Tournament in Toronto, which ended May 19.
“It was a great experience for all of us, but as the one with previous overseas Floorball exposure I had to lead as much as possible to encourage the new ones," McCaw said. "We received many big ups from the fans saying how hard we worked.”
The Maroons are a unified team made up of Special Olympics athletes and player partners from the community. Special Olympics Jamaica is also the first Special Olympics Program in North America to take up this fast-growing form of indoor hockey.
The squad was captained by Sydney Manyan, who oversaw on-court play. He was joined by the following athletes with intellectual disabilities: Oshain Daley (goalkeeper), Kabious Smiley (defense); Omar Brown (defense); Kirk Dockery (forward); Andrew Hinds (forward) and forward Orion McCaw.
The unified partners were: Peter Miller (defense); Christopher Palmer (forward), Stefan Richards (forward); Sanjay Buchanan (forward), Andre Fyffe (defense) Ricardo Frater (forward); Orseano Benjamin (defense).
Jason Anderson Technical Director, Jamaica Floorball Association handled the coaching duties.
In addition to the court play, veteran athlete Richard Oates attended the coaching clinic. Jason Johnson was our volunteer Statistician. The delegation was completed by Sharee Russell a Jamaica Floorball Association referee in training who has just returned from three months of practical on-court experience in Sweden.
Although the squad lost its four games (6 to 3; 2 to 0; 3 to 2; 4 to 1), the reports coming back from the organizers and spectators are that the squad played very well and showed improvement.
From Captain Sydney Manyan’s perspective: “Overall the squad played well together although adjustments will obviously have to be made to ensure that next time we capitalize on the opportunities we created in front of the net. We’ll need to make arrangements to have more access during the week to our training venue so we can focus on reducing our weaknesses”
About Victor L. Brown Coordinator Floor Hockey and Floorball: I've been with Special Olympics Jamaica for 18 years