Media interest in hockey grows in Peru ahead of Hockey World League Round 1 in Chiclayo
With Hockey World League Round 1 men's and women's events taking place in Chiclayo, Peru, in just a few days time, we took a look at how our sport is developing in the South American country.
One of the main aims of the FIH's 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy is to generate more followers across the globe, with a key initiative within the strategy being the development of an entertaining portfolio of events that draws in new fans.
So the appearance of numerous players on television and radio in recent weeks has provided a great boost for hockey in Peru, as both the national association and leading players have embraced the idea of promoting and sharing their passion for hockey.
The reason for the surge of hockey coverage was the culmination of the women’s National Field Hockey Championships that took place at Chiclayo earlier this month.
Played in front of enthusiastic spectators and accompanied by a wave of social media activity and press coverage, the Championships provided a great showcase for a sport that is beginning to make its way into the national psyche.
From the earlier rounds, played in July, four teams had made it through to the September finals – OMA Hockey, Mater Admirabilis Hockey Club, Lima Cricket and Football Club (LCFC) Hockey Team and San Silvestre Hockey Club.
In the finals, it was the San Silvestre team who walked away victorious as they defeated all comers. Speaking after the team picked up the trophy, coach and former Peru international, Francisco Cantuarias said: “We worked out our strategy and tactics according to the abilities of each player on the team. It is very satisfying to see a team following the tactics and earning the victories as a result. I had a great time training this team – even if it was only for a short time. In that time, they have just got better and better, so by the time it came to these finals, the players were able to play the system that we wanted to. It was a system that worked to perfection. As a coach, it’s nice to see that things are working and there is nothing better than working with a team that understands me and trusts the system.”
The team also dominated the National Indoor Championships earlier in the year, when they swept all the opposition aside, scoring 16 goals and only conceding two.
Appearing on the national television news channel in a lively interview after their outdoor victory, Ana Paola "Lola" Palomino and Aida Lemon spoke about the dynamism within the team and the commitment of all the players to training. Aida added that the team had developed a greater technical and tactical awareness in the past few months.
Two other San Silvestre stars, Marianella Alvarez and Andrea Grippa were interviewed on Ecco Radio where they spoke about the indoor and outdoor victories and San Silvestre’s continuing dominance of hockey in Peru.
With the women ranked 65 in the FIH Hero World Rankings and the men ranked 80, the Peru Hockey Federation has a long way to go before it emulates some of its South American neighbours – Argentina and Brazil in particular – but the wheels of motion are moving and the fact that Peru will host an important FIH international tournament is a source of both pride and optimism for the Peru Hockey Federation.
For more information about San Silvestre, visit their website and Facebook page.
For more information about hockey in Peru, click here.