The non-profit organization JOIHT that is based in Colorado, Tuesday received an endorsement from the Jamaica Olympic Association to assemble a squad of ice hockey players with the goal to compete in the 2014 winter games.
Currently there are several hockey players all over the world with Jamaican heritage, which the JOIHT hopes to draw from to build their team.
According to The Gleaner, "What they need to do now is to properly form a national federation, write to us for approval and request affiliation to the Jamaica Olympic Association," said Don Anderson, vice-president of the JOA. "Once everything is on order we will give them our blessing."
The inspiration for the development of the ice hockey team came in some part by the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the last Winter Olympics. The JOIHT describes this as an unprecedented undertaking to bring a much-needed diversity to a sport that has been dominated by certain other countries.
The idea came from 22-year-old Edmond R. Phillips. Phillips parents were born and raised in Jamaica; however, Phillips himself is an Ohio native who developed a love of ice hockey at an early age. Phillips has been playing for 16 years and is now a level-four coach, which is a step below the National Hockey League. He has been coaching for five years and he is co-founder of the JOIHT.
JOIHT will not be asking for any funding from Jamaica’s already cash-strapped accounts, instead they state that they have other funding sources to draw from including some major banks in the United States.