THE 15th edition of the annual Diamond Mineral Water Indoor Hockey Festival was launched yesterday with five Trinidadian teams confirmed. The tournament, which began last evening at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) will go until Sunday evening at the same venue.During the launch, Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) president Philip Fernandes recounted the years of the tournament, saying, “I thought it was worth revisiting the roots of the tournament because I think it’s important.”He paid homage to veteran commentator Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira who gave the GHB president the idea, adding, “He basically brought the inspiration and belief that we could do this thing successfully.”The idea of a tournament for cash prizes made up of teams from across the region was unheard of in hockey at that time, Fernandes said, and they had to thank ‘Reds’ for that, as well as the donation of the first set of cash prizes in 2002.He thanked the title sponsors Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), under the Diamond Mineral Water brand, for being on board since day one as well as Ansa McAl who has been on board in the form of Carib and STAG beers and now Lucozade brand.On behalf of the title sponsors, Brand Executive Larry Wills contended that “the tournament represents 16 great years for Diamond Mineral Water. We continue to show the support that is necessary for the development of sport in Guyana. There is no letting up from us at this moment. We want to see our sportsmen and women develop”. Treiston Joseph, Corporate Communications Officer of Ansa McAl, was also on hand for the launch and added, “ANSA, it’s an integral part of hockey development in Guyana. We wish all the teams local and foreign a great success.”The newest partner in the Hockey Family ExxonMobil, through its representative, Nicholas Yearwood, told the gathering, “We are very committed to being a good community partner to sports. We are going to continue evaluating opportunities for partnerships not only in hockey but other disciplines.”Last year’s finalists Queen’s Park return alongside the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force in the men’s class, with George United (players from across different clubs in Trinidad), expected to compete in female events.Two-time defending champions, Queen’s Park Veterans, as well as three-time champions Fatima will make a return – the latter after being absent last year.Apart from the teams, GHB has also invited officials from Trinidad to assist in the officiating of games.The winners of the Men’s and Women’s championships will take home US$1000 each while the runners-up will pocket US$500.Veterans winners will also take home US$500.