New national hockey coach Kovin Moodley relishing CAC challenge
With only two months to go before the Central America and Caribbean Games Qualifiers, the new coach of Bermuda’s men’s and women’s hockey teams, Kovin Moodley is well aware of the challenges that await him but says he is eager to get started.
The 30-year-old South African was recently appointed by the Bermuda Hockey Federation and will lead the teams in the qualifiers which will take place on island from April 14 to 17.
“I am just super excited to work with the national teams,” Moodley told The Royal Gazette.
“This is the qualifiers, so if we qualify we will be able to attend the CAC Games, which will happen next year in May so, in terms of ambition, I would love for the men and the ladies to get that qualification.”
Bermuda will face Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and Guyana, who will only take a women’s team, in the qualification series, which will take place at the National Sports Centre.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of working with a high-performance team and helping them achieve their goals of CAC qualification,” he added. “We have less than two months left to prepare, which is a daunting but exciting opportunity to be dynamic and resourceful as a squad.”
The International Hockey Federation Level 2 certified coach says he is looking to develop a culture of high performance while increasing interest and participation as well as improving the structure around youth hockey.
“I want to implement a high-performance culture, a better work ethic, structure, and national programme and hopefully try and encourage as much enthusiasm around hockey while building the passion for the game on the island,” he said.
Moodley, a director in Sportways, an international hockey coaching organisation that stages camps all over the world, including Bermuda, says he is looking forward to the challenge of working in a new environment.
“They [Sportways] are very unique in their approach to growing sport, players and coaches and they informed me of this opportunity to apply,” he added. “I’ve loved working in new environments with the opportunity to develop players and attract more people to hockey. “I wanted to take on the challenge of coming to Bermuda and working with the national teams in their ambition of CAC qualification.”
The coach says he has reached out to local stakeholders and has been making the most of technology to be as prepared as possible for the assignment.
He is also keen to have an impact on the development of youth hockey on the island.“Bermuda has a good programme for the youth and I’ve had contact with some of the coaches prior to coming to Bermuda,” Moodley said. “That has made the transition here easier and we are looking to work together to give the kids the best opportunity to learn and develop.“I believe I could have an influence on the youth structures here in Bermuda.
“Developing young hockey players and facilitating them on their journey is a significant passion of mine.
“I hope that in my time here I can make everyone fall in love with the game a little more as well.
“I’ve tried to get as much information prior to coming here as possible and I’ve had a chance to watch some league games and observe a few training sessions in my first week.
“There is also great video software that allowed me to watch footage and build a mental library of information to prepare in advance.
“I believe the pandemic has had an effect on sport all over the world and we are trying to build after an inconsistent two-year period.
“I think most players feel like they have not been able to achieve the high standards they have for themselves due to this.
“The players I’ve seen have lots of potential and I do believe their quality will improve with more consistency and I plan to add to this in my time here.
Moodley has been involved with hockey since he was ten years old and was the director of sport at Penzance Primary School and is an active player with KZN Men’s Provincial Hockey Team.
“One of my biggest qualities as a coach is that I remain a student of the game,” he added. “I never feel like I know everything, that keeps me in a constant state of learning and curiosity to find better ways of doing things.
“This allows me to stay driven and motivated to give the players the best of me at all times.”