MEMORIES OF Jamaica’s bobsled team's debut in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada comes to the fore as Robert Robinson begins the process of establishing a Jamaican Inline hockey team in the United Kingdom.
A game similar to ice hockey, the team aims at entering World Championships, as early as June 2013.
The team currently being assembled will comprise players of Jamaican birth or descent and have been involved in the game in Britain for some time.
This venture could once again see Jamaica participating at international level in summer and winter Olympic Games, a cool reminder of the Jamaica national bobsled team that was featured in the hit 1993 movie Cool Runnings. The film was based on the true story of the Jamaica national bobsled team's debut.
Robinson, 27, said: “We intend to compete at the World Masters in June 2013, comprising of a Vets Team. This should be the first sighting of the Jamaican national team and we hope to be endorsed shortly by the sports authorities in Jamaica.’’
Kingston-born Robinson added that he had developed a great interest in roller skating and ice hockey from an early age while living in Britain.
He said that when he sought to find out about a Jamaican team he was told that he would have to join a GB team as the Caribbean island did not possess one.
ACTION MAN: Robinson in action
“That encouraged me to venture into establishing a Jamaica inline hockey team (hockey played on roller blades using a plastic puck) which is almost identical to the more popular ice hockey, as this was a way in getting Jamaica into this sport at the highest level.”
Robinson has been playing on ice and inline hockey since he was 11. He started playing for the South London Legends, even representing them at the senior level, then moving to Streatham to play ice hockey.
He returned to Jamaica in 2002 and aware of the absence of ice hockey, regularly engaged in downhill skating, along Old Stony Hill Road in Kingston where box cart races originally took place and from which Jamaica’s bobsled history emerged.
“I returned to the UK and started playing ice hockey in Scotland but the rink was closed as a result of the financial downturn in Europe and so I have returned to England,” said Robinson.
“It seems every time I got to play hockey something comes in the way of my passion! When I got back to London I found my former coach still running a team (The Enforcers) which I played with before starting my own team, the South London Lions in 2011, and am now pursuing my dream to set up a Jamaica inline hockey team. Several of my current team players are of Jamaican origin.”
As a means of fostering a new dimension in the sporting arena for Jamaica, Robinson has made contact with the Jamaica Olympic Association and also the Jamaican High Commissioner in London to establish the Jamaica Roller Sports Federation in the UK, so that Jamaicans can compete in the upcoming World Championships in June and ultimately the Olympic Summer Games if the sport becomes accepted.