The long wait for the new $1.3 million turf for the National Hockey Centre, Orange Grove Road, Tacarigua will go on for a while longer due to the problems between Polytan GmbH officials in Chile and the surface manufacturers in Germany.
This was stated by T&T Hockey Board (TTHB) president, Douglas Camacho when quizzed on the long delay in the arrival of the new astroturf surface to replace the existing one at Tacarigua which has been in use since 2007.
Polytan GmbH is a Burgheim, Germany-based manufacturer and installer of synthetic sport surfaces, including running tracks and synthetic turf. Polytan sports surfaces have been in use for more than 37 years, with more than 25 million square meters of sports surface installed across the world.
Originally intended for delivery ahead of the March 25-April 2, 2017 FIH Men’s World League Tournament hosted by the TTHB, the local hockey fraternity has had a painstaking wait for the surface from Germany, which had been rumoured to be on its way to T&T for almost a few months now.
The turf, being provided by German manufacturer Polytan was expected to be accompanied by the appropriate cleaning machine for it.
However, its first dealy back in 2017 was caused by the Sport Company of T&T's (SPORTT) re-structuring and the revision of numerous service level agreements with all national sporting organisations falling under SPORTT’s remit.
Commenting on the issue earlier this year, TTHB president Douglas Camacho confirmed that the AstroTurf which cost the T&T Government close to $1,356,000 from German supplier Polytan, was soon to be en route to T&T with its arrival date expected to be at the end of April or within the first two weeks of May.
Douglas stated: "We are now in the process of putting in a place a plan and time frame for the relaying of the turf when it arrives in the country, and at the same time trying our best to have little disruption to the senior national men's hockey team preparations for the Pan American Games which comes off in Lima, Peru from July 29 to August 20.
In Peru, the T&T men will come up against Cuba, Chile and Argentina and Pool A while Mexico, Canada, USA and host Peru are in Pool B.
Camacho, a former President of the T&T Olympic Committee, hope is that when the turf arrived in T&T, the Hockey Board would try its best to have everything in place so that it will spend little time between the port and when it is installed.
Camacho said the Government of T&T had done its part in providing the funding to acquire the astroturf two years ago and a letter of credit was done back in March for Polytan's bank Wells Fargo & Company based in Chile via First Citizens Bank.
However, Wells Fargo & Company on behalf of Polytan then requested that the documentation from First Citizens resubmitted and that was done.
Guardian Media Sports understands that a new challenge arose during the process and that cause a further delay.
Camacho said, "So the main problem was the hold up between Polytan and their internal relations with their agents in Chile and the manufacturers in Germany."