Americans happy to choose Bermuda again
The Fairleigh Dickinson University men's lacrosse team will do their preseason training in Bermuda this year at the National Sports Centre. Thirty-five players, coaches and support staff are expected on the island this weekend to begin five days of intense training.
Head coach Patrick Scarpello, who brought a team to the island in 2014, credits his relationship with the Bermuda national lacrosse team, the work of the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the facilities at the NSC for driving his decision to choose Bermuda again.
“I'm hoping that this week will give the team a chance to bond and become closer as a group,” Scarpello said. “The objective is to train and get ready for our season which starts on February 1st. We look to get a lot of teaching done and work on our fundamental skills and start to put in some offensive and defensive schemes. Conditioning will be a big part of our training while we are there.”
The men will also be put through their paces on the beach at Coco Reef, the team's host hotel. Morning runs on a pink sand beach is a part of the regimen, which would be difficult to replicate in the winter weather of Madison, New Jersey, where the team are from.
Planning meals is also an important component and most sports teams insist on eating together. Local sports bar Outback has made a point of catering to sports teams including the contingent of 74 from Indiana University recently and will welcome the Fairleigh Dickinson team as well.
“Visiting sports teams give our employees an avenue to make additional income in the usually quiet winter months,” said Outback owner Chris Garland. “But the winter is not so usual anymore. We believe things are moving closer to a year-round industry. We're even a little more careful about how we manage vacation time in the winter to make sure we have enough staff on-hand.”
Just two weeks into 2017, about 100 visiting swimmers and 35 visiting lacrosse players will have used the facilities at NSC as part of a sports-tourism partnership with the BTA.
The BTA's Chief Product and Experiences Development Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn said: “As volume grows for sports training camps, we will work with tourism stakeholders to shape experiences that cater to this specific travel segment. This group has specific transportation, dietary and entertainment needs so we are looking for partners ready to provide what travelling sports teams are looking for.”