U15 National Championships Recap

U15 Girls Rams take Gold at the National Championships

The U15 Girls BC Rams had a dominant performance at the 2018 National Championships, taking the gold medal for the second consecutive year. After going undefeated through four round robin games, the Rams faced their provincial rivals, the BC Lions, in the semi-final.

Thanks to two goals within two minutes both scored by Brooke McCusker, the Rams advanced to the final with a 2-0 semi-final victory, where they took on Ontario West for a re-match of the 2017 U15 Girls final. Once again, the Rams came out on top with a 3-0 victory, with goals by Brooke McCusker, Polly Campbell and Ahria Dhillon.

14 year-old North Vancouver native Brooke McCusker led the Rams with six goals in six games.

BC Rams, gold medallists

The Lions had an outstanding performance, finishing with a bronze medal. After going 2-0-1 in the round robin, they had a tough loss to the Rams in the semi-final. However, they bounced back to take a 3-1 win over Ontario Central to take home the bronze. Olivia Huebner led the Lions in scoring with three goals.

BC Girls Lions

The BC Stags had a 1-2-1 record through the round robin, which put them into the consolation bracket. They finished in a tie for 6th place with Ontario East. Victoria native Julia Berk led the team with 5 goals.

U15 Boys Rams Claim the Silver Medal

The U15 Boys Rams took second place with a tough 2-1 loss to Quebec 1 in their final game. After going undefeated through the round robin, the Rams had resounding victories through the playoffs, including a 5-0 win over the BC Lions in the quarter final and a 7-0 win over Ontario in the semi-final.

However, Quebec 1 got the better of them in the gold medal game. After going up 2-0 early in the second half, the Rams cut the lead in half, but were unable to complete the comeback. The silver medallists were led by Harvir Mahli who had nine goals. Goalkeeper Armaan Bagri only allowed two goals in five games.

BC Boys Rams half time chat with coaches Adrien and Ali

The BC Boys Lions ended up in sixth place. After being eliminated in the quarter-finals by their provincial rivals, the Rams, they tied both of their consolation matches against Alberta and Quebec. The Lions were led by Finlay O’Callaghan who scored four goals in five games.

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U15 Boys

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

U15 Boys BC Rams – India Club Tournament gold medallists

With the 2018 National Championships only two weeks away, we are excited to introduce the U15 Boys BC teams who will be travelling to Toronto to take on the top teams from across the country.

This year, BC will be sending two teams of 16 players each to the National Championships at the U15 Boys level. The BC Rams and the BC Lions are mostly made up of athletes from the Lower Mainland, with the exception of three players who have been travelling from Vancouver Island almost every weekend to train with their team.

As the last few weekends of training wrap up and the teams prepare for Toronto, we got the chance to hear from U15 BC Lions athlete, Calder Wheatley, with regards to his experience in training at the Provincial level.

“Training is going well; we’re working on fitness, agility and tactical skills,” said Wheatley. “I have lots of new teammates and I’m getting to know them well as we continue to practice in Vancouver.”

Calder Wheatley (right) in action at the India Club Tournament

Wheatley is in his second year as a member of the U15 BC Lions. As one of the U15 Boys Island athletes, the Provincial program is a rare opportunity for him to train exclusively with athletes of his age group. The boys field hockey community on Vancouver Island is quite small, therefore there is no club league at his age.

“Both the Regional and the Provincial programs build on fitness, tactical and technical skills, which really builds my hockey skills,” Wheatley explained. “The biggest differences are playing with athletes outside Victoria, having new coaches and travelling to Vancouver on a regular basis for practices. It’s a good way to play with other players my own age since we do not have this on the Island.”

U15 BC Lions during the India Club Tournament bronze medal game

Working with coaches Sujay Mehta and Graem D’Andrade, the U15 BC Lions are working on building up their team dynamic as well as individual skill sets leading into the National Championships. They had their first taste of competition this past weekend at the India Club Tournament, where they finished in fourth place in the U16 Boys division.

The U15 BC Rams, led by head coach and Men’s National Team member Adrien D’Andrade, had a strong showing at the India Club Tournament. In a tight Championship match, the BC Rams came out on top with a 3-1 victory over the U16 India Club to take the gold medal.

U15 BC Rams in action during the India Club Tournament gold medal game

The Rams will be looking for a repeat performance after taking the gold medal at Nationals in 2017. With only one weekend of training to go, both teams are gearing up to play their best hockey on the National stage.

“The intensity and competitiveness gradually builds up as we move thru the program. This helps to have us ready to play our best at Nationals,” said Wheatley. “It should be a good experience and I’m looking forward to the trip with my team.”

Click below for full for U15 Boys BC Team rosters and athlete bios:

U15 Boys BC Rams

U15 Boys BC Lions

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U15 Girls

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

U15 Girls BC Rams – India Club Tournament gold medallists

The U15 Girls BC Teams have been hard at work over the last six weeks as they prepare to take on the rest of the country at the National Championships in Toronto, Ontario. With Nationals only two weeks away, we had the opportunity to hear from BC Rams’ athletes Laine Delmotte and Savina Purewal with a look into Provincial training and the road to Nationals.

“I feel that the Provincial training is really getting us prepared and allowing us to peak just in time for the Nationals,” said Purewal. “The training is intense and we are all getting to know each other as we train together.”

“The training has been awesome!  I love the high intensity in all of the sessions and the competitiveness with all my teammates,” said Delmotte. “Everyone pushes each other in training on the field and off while doing fitness. We all have already come together really well, and we are starting to get more comfortable with each other.”

Laine Delmotte in action during the gold medal game at the India Club Tournament

Delmotte, who has been training with the North Shore Academy for the last two years, is going into her second National Championships after finishing in fourth with the U15 BC White Lions last year. The BC Rams head coach, Jenn Beagan, is also Delmotte’s coach in the Academy Program.

Jenn Beagan, head coach of the BC Rams.

“Jenn has coached me for quite a while now,” Delmotte reflected. “She always keeps us focused and her talks and feedback motivates us, and keeps the sessions at that high intensity.”

Beagan, in her second year coaching the U15 Girls BC Rams, led the team to a National Championship Gold medal last year. Savina Purewal is one of only two players from the 2017 U15 National Champions who will be returning to the same BC team this year.

“I would describe Jenn as a knowledgeable and well-organized coach.  She makes sure that she gives positive feedback and is really connecting with each of the players,” Purewal explained. “From the beginning she has set high expectations. She’s great at motivating each of us and is always keeping the training sessions positive and productive.”

This year, the U15 Girls will be sending three BC Teams to the National Championships. The BC Rams are comprised of the top athletes from the Lower Mainland, the BC Stags are based on Vancouver Island, and the BC Lions have a range of athletes from all across the province, including the Island, the Interior and the Lower Mainland.

U15 Girls BC Rams

Throughout their two month period of Provincial training between the Regional Festival and the National Championships, the U15 Girls BC Teams are training an average of four hours a week as a team with added fitness components during the week.

Purewal and Delmotte describe their sessions as highly intense, with each session focused around specific skills and set team plays.

“The Provincial Program really builds on the training, fitness and coaching from the Regional Program so you can compete at your very best at the Nationals,” said Purewal. “ The training is really intense and the expectations are high.”

Savina Purewal, captain of the Rams for the gold medal game at the India Club Tournament

“I find that Academy is more focused on individual skills, but the Provincial program is more team based and we learn more field awareness and positional tactics,” Delmotte explained. “I think doing Academy prior to Provincials was good for me because it helped me get comfortable playing with better and stronger girls who pushed me to be the best I can be.”

The BC Rams and BC Lions got their first taste of in-game action this past weekend at the annual India Club Tournament in Surrey. Playing in the U17 Girls division, the teams had the added challenge of competing against older girls. The BC Lions had an exciting finish, with a shootout victory over SHC for the bronze medal. The shootout went into sudden death, where Navjot Mangat scored the game winner.

U15 BC Lions – India Club Tournament bronze medallists

The U15 BC Rams came out on top with an exciting 1-0 win in the final against India Club. The Rams goal came in the dying minutes of the game, when Laine Delmotte got the ball off of a short corner and fed Taylor Katsube who buried it to give her team the victory.

“I think my team is preparing well and that we will be ready on the day of competition,” stated Purewal. “What I am most looking forward to is hopefully with hard work and determination to come back from Nationals as Champions.”

“I am looking forward to playing games against tough competition and I’m also really looking forward to bonding and travelling with my teammates,” said Delmotte. “I think our team is very well prepared.”

The U15 Girls BC teams will take on the rest of the country at the National Championships from July 12-16 at the University of Toronto, Ontario. Click here to visit the National Championships website.

For full U15 Girls BC Team rosters and athlete bios:

U15 Girls BC Rams

U15 Girls BC Stags

U15 Girls BC Lions

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U18 Girls

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

In this edition of the Provincial Pathway series, we introduce the U18 Girls BC teams and catch up with Tessa Johnston and Saneh Basra of the U18 Girls BC Rams.

Johnston and Basra discuss their progress in training thus far, the dynamic between coaches and players, their experience with the Provincial program and their objectives leading into Nationals. Click the video link to find out more!

For a full introduction to the U18 Girls BC teams click on the links below:

U18 Girls BC Rams

U18 Girls BC Stags

U18 Girls BC Lions

Meet the Athletes: Team BC U18 Boys

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

In this edition of the Provincial Pathway, Field Hockey BC had the opportunity to catch up with Rowan Childs and Gary Mann to discuss their Provincial training with the U18 BC Boys Rams.

After a few weeks of training with the BC Rams, Childs and Mann describe their progress with the team, the structure of their training and their own personal experiences with the Field Hockey BC Provincial program. Click the video to learn more about these athletes on the road to Nationals!

For a complete introduction to the U18 BC Boys teams including rosters and athlete bios, click on the links below:

U18 Boys BC Rams

U18 Boys BC Lions

Vancouver International Tournament Recap

It was a great long weekend of hockey out at the Vancouver International Tournament May 19-21 at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. Over the three day long weekend, we saw 22 teams across three divisions in action, with an age range over 5 decades! Field Hockey BC was thrilled to see such a fun and diverse group out playing the game and enjoying the atmosphere at the adult social event of the season.

We would like to extend our congratulations to the winning teams in all divisions:

Women’s Social Division

  1. Wildcats
  2. Storm
  3. Tri-City Eagles

Island Wildcats, Women’s Social winners

Mixed Social Division 

  1. Seattle Mixed
  2. Bored of Governors
  3. Okanagan

Seattle Mixed, Mixed Social winners

Women’s Masters Division

  1. CDN Masters
  2. Fossilizing Sharks
  3. Seattle Masters

CDN Masters, Women’s Masters winners

Spirit of Judy Broom Sportsmanship Award: Vancouver Hawks

Vancouver Hawks, Judy Broom Award winners

Thank you to all players, umpires and staff for making this event a resounding success. We can’t wait to see you all back out next year!

 

Provincial Athlete Feature: Train 2 Train Girls

The Provincial Pathway: Introducing Savina Purewal and Laine Delmotte

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

The Team BC U15 Girls Rams are lucky to have two exceptionally talented midfielders in Savina Purewal and Laine Delmotte.

Savina Purewal

There’s no stopping Savina Purewal once she gets her momentum going. Playing from either the center or outside midfield position, the speedy Surrey native dominated with the Southeast Jaguars at the Train 2 Train Festival, earning a spot on the U15 BC Girls Rams.

Purewal, who has played field hockey since she was five years old with the Surrey Sharks and India Club, is going to her second National Championship this year in her fifth year with the Regional Program, starting at the Learn 2 Train level back in grade 4. She is also a gifted soccer player, but has always seen field hockey as her number one.

“I feel like I’ve always had more passion for the game,” Purewal explained. “Field hockey just gives me this awesome adrenaline rush and it makes me feel really good.”

Savina Purewal – left – in action against the Pink Panthers at the 2018 Train 2 Train Festival.

Between the long hours of training, Purewal still manages to get out in the community about once a week and volunteer with her leadership class at school and with the City of Surrey. Despite her busy schedule, the 14 year-old is always out there working hard with her sights set on playing in the Olympics one day.

“I think my main motivation is that I want to represent my country, I want to represent my family, my friends and everyone who’s supported me,” said Purewal. “I just really want to continue playing on that path and maybe play for Team Canada and go to the Olympics, that’s my motivation is to one day be standing up on the Olympic podium with a medal.”

As a young athlete with big aspirations, Purewal is doing all the right things to achieve her goals in the early stages of her career. After winning the gold medal with the U15 BC Girls Rams last year, she was selected to attend the U15 National Junior Development Squad Camp, which she hopes to be invited to again this year.

“I learned so much. Steph Andrews, the National Team coach was a really good coach and all of the girls were good, it just showed me once you’re at that high level you have to always be on. Once you’re at the top it’s hard, it’s really competitive because everyone is good. Everyone is at that same level.”

Although she’s already had exposure to the National Program at a young age, Purewal remains focused on the process, starting from the Regional Program and working through to the Provincial level. She recognized the Train 2 Train Festival as her primary focus because to her, it is the first and most essential step in moving on to the next level.

Savina Purewal – front row second from the right – with the Southeast Jaguars at the 2018 Train 2 Train Festival.

Between this Provincial season and the coming years, Purewal has a vision for what it will take to reach that next level and to continue her development as a player and a leader.

“This year [Nationals] would be in Toronto and I think that would be an awesome experience, but I also want to step up and be a captain and take initiative because I’ve experienced it last year as well,” stated Purewal. “Next year I want to do Train 2 Compete for the three years and I want to keep making the Provincial team because that one pathway is really important. Making the provincial team and then showing well at Nationals is really important for getting invited to the actual Junior Development Squad and then working up from there.”

Laine Delmotte

The composure and ball control of the North Shore Acaemy Dragons’ Laine Delmotte was unmatched at the Train 2 Train Festival. In her second year training at the North Vancouver Academy, she will be attending her second National Championships this year with the U15 Girls Rams.

“It was really exciting and fun,” said Delmotte of her first National Championship Festival. “I was kind of nervous at first, but I really enjoyed it because I had a few friends from the start which helped me make more friends.”

Delmotte comes from a family full of field hockey players. She started playing for the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club she was six years old because her older sister and older cousin were involved in the sport.

Laine Delmotte – right – at the 2018 Train 2 Train Festival in action against the Polar Bears. Photo: Chris Wilson

After spending a year in the Regional Program when she was in grade 7, Delmotte joined the Academy the following year when she started high school. The Academy players train every other school day as a replacement for their Physical Education class.

“When I did the Regional Program I didn’t have many friends because I was in grade 7 so Academy is nice and it’s more training as well,” explained Delmotte. “With the Regionals I had more conflicts because Academy is during the day.”

Also a high level soccer player, Delmotte keeps busy with her sports, but sees field hockey as her number one sport. In the long term, she intends to pursue field hockey and hopes to get a scholarship to play in University.

The center midfielder, who narrowly missed a medal at the 2017 Nationals with the BC Girls White Lions, is excited for the upcoming Provincial season, especially having the opportunity to travel with her team for Nationals this year.

Laine Delmotte – back row fifth from the right – with the Academy Dragons at the 2018 Train 2 Train Festival.

“I’m looking forward to the weekends of training, they’re just fun and I like how they’re long training sessions. I’m looking forward to traveling a bit and bonding with the team more, because last year we couldn’t have a hotel or anything.”

The skill and maturity of these two athletes is sure to make them players to watch through this year’s Provincial season. Make sure to follow their progress leading into July’s National Championship Festival in Toronto, Ontario!

Provincial Athlete Feature: Train 2 Train Boys

The Provincial Pathway: Introducing Calder Wheatley and Jagjot Hayer

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

A strong and steady defender and an explosive attacking midfielder, Calder Wheatley and Jagjot Hayer are both athletes to watch on the U15 Boys Provincial Teams.

Calder Wheatley

Calder Wheatley protected the Eagles defensive zone with speed, skill and composure at the Train 2 Train Festival, earning himself a spot on the U15 BC Boys Lions. Field hockey is a family affair for the 15 year-old Victoria native, as both of his parents and his younger brother also play, often as teammates.

Without a U15 Boys Spring League in Victoria, Calder now plays on his dad’s men’s league team, the Victoria Rebels. Additionally, Calder and his 11 year-old brother Benjamin played on the same team for the first time at the Regional Festival this past weekend, with Benjamin competing in his first Regional tournament.

“My whole family plays, my mom and my dad,” Wheatley explained. “When I was young I would go out to the field and watch them play. My parents are good field hockey players so that’s really my motivation, to be able to play like them.”

Calder Wheatley in action at the 2018 Train 2 Train Regional Festival.

This Provincial season will be Wheatley’s second year playing for Team BC, after competing at the National Championship with the U15 Boys Lions last July. In his third year with the Regional Program, he has the added challenge of playing out of Victoria, where the boys field hockey community is significantly smaller than is it on the Lower Mainland.

The Boys Regional Program on the island was bigger than it had been in past years, as the U15 and U18 boys all played together and they also accepted younger players to participate, including Calder’s 11 year-old brother Benjamin. However, the small group of Vancouver Island boys have the obstacle of coming over and playing with boys who have been training together all season in their Regional Program.

Calder Wheatley – back row second from the left – with his Train 2 Train Regional Team, the Eagles.

“It’s different for us. It would be a lot more difficult if it was only one person coming over, but there’s always been three or four,” Wheatley said of coming over for the Regional Festival. “It’s challenging, but it makes us better.”

With the upcoming National Championship Festival taking place in Ontario this year, Wheatley is excited to travel with the team and have more of a bonding experience than at last year’s National Championship which was local for most of the Team BC athletes.

“I think travelling with the team will be a good bonding experience, because last year coming here we weren’t staying in the same hotels, we were kind of separate. This time we will all be together, so I think we will bond more as a team.”

Jagjot Hayer

Jagjot Hayer was an offensive standout for the Raptors at the Train 2 Train Festival, with his playmaking from the center midfield and his explosive runs down the side. Hayer describes himself as a player who likes to make runs and beat several defenders, but also make good plays to his teammates.

“If I tackle the ball from someone and I see three or four people in front of me I might try to beat them, but if there’s a two on one or something I’ll usually pass it off,” Hayer explained.

The Surrey native started playing field hockey at six years old and he saw his cousins playing. With his club, the Surrey Panthers, he plays with both his own age group and the U18 boys for more training and extra competition.

Jagjot Hayer at the 2018 Train 2 Train Festival. Photo: Chris Wilson

Hayer has been playing with the older boys for a few years now, which is how he got involved with the Regional Program. When he heard his older teammates talking about their participation in the Regional Festival, he decided to give it a try.

“It really developed me as a player, especially as a pass-first type of player,” Hayer said of the Regional Program. “Before I used to stick my head down and try beating everyone, now I look up to the field and try looking for the first pass. I’ve met a lot of new people, a lot of good coaches and a lot of good young players.”

Jagjot Hayer – back row fourth from the right – with the Raptors at the 2018 Train 2 Train Festival.

In his third year with the Regional Program, this will be Hayer’s second trip to the National Championships playing with the U15 BC Boys Rams. His team last year came in first place at Nationals, defeating Ontario in the Championship game.

In his final year playing with the U15 age group, Hayer’s goal is to lead his team to another National Championship gold medal, while taking a leadership role and making the players around him better. In the long term, he hopes to play for Team Canada one day.

We are excited to follow both Wheatley and Hayer through the Provincial season as they work towards bringing home a second consecutive gold medal for the U15 Boys!

Weekend Preview: Train 2 Train Festival

Field Hockey BC is excited to host our second Regional Event of the season, the U15 Train 2 Train Festival, from May 4-6 at Tamanawis Park, Surrey. This festival consists of three boys teams and nine girls teams between the ages of 12 and 15 from all over British Columbia.

Over the past several months, these athletes have been working hard within their respective Regional Programs in preparation for this event, which will ultimately decide who is selected to represent Team BC at the National Championship Festival in July 2018. Both the boys and girls will play a round robin format, with the boys teams’ playing four games each over two days and the girls teams’ playing six games over three days.

Want to keep up with the action? Live scoring and updates can be found all weekend at https://fieldhockeybc.altiusrt.com/. You can also find updates, photos and more festival content by following Field Hockey BC on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

We hope to see you supporting our U15 Regional athletes this weekend at Tamanawis Park!

 

Provincial Athlete Feature: Introducing Rowan Childs

The Provincial Pathway Series

The Provincial Pathway is a series which will follow a select number of FHBC athletes on their journey from the Regional Program through to the National Championships.

If you like a good underdog story, look no further than the U18 BC Boys Rams midfielder, Rowan Childs.

The 18 year-old Tsawwassen native started playing field hockey with the Delta Falcons at six years old when his dad and his uncle introduced him to the sport. Since the Falcons men’s program disbanded, he has played his club hockey with Burnaby Lake and Surinder Lions.

At his first Regional Trial when he was in grade 7, he wasn’t selected to participate in the Regional Program. The following year, after qualifying for the Regional Program, he was placed on the reserve list for Team BC after the Regional Tournament.

“The second year I didn’t make the BC team, I was put onto reserves, which was heartbreaking,” said Childs. “It’s a big piece of motivation for me, that failure really motivated me to succeed the next time and continue improving.”

On his third attempt, he was selected to play on the Provincial Team, and has played for Team BC every year since. Less than three years after being left off of the U15 Provincial Team, Childs was the youngest player named to Team Canada for the 2016 Junior World Cup, at just 16 years old.

“The Junior World Cup was my first ever tour with the Junior National Team, that was pretty incredible,” reflected Childs. “We didn’t do very well there, it was rough performance-wise but I think it was a really good learning experience for me to see what the best players under 21 in Canada can do and really model my game after a few players there.”

Childs – fourth from left – with the Canadian Junior National Team at the 2016 Junior World Cup in India. Photo by Field Hockey Canada.

He is recently coming off of a third place finish with the U18 Canadian National Team at the Youth Pan American Games, which qualified Canada for the Youth Olympics in October 2018. Childs tied with two of his teammates as the leading goal scorer for Team Canada at the Youth Pan Am Games, with five goals in six games.

This summer, he will take part in his fourth and final National Championships Festival. As an athlete who has competed at the Regional, Provincial and National level, he reflects on the Regional Program as a challenging yet worthwhile experience.

“It’s a ton of fun,” said Childs. “BC does a great job putting in the work. We’re always out training; a few years ago we’d be out Friday night and Saturday morning. Those were deadly hours but it really pays off when you’re coming here and playing four games in three days. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off.”

Despite suffering an injury late in the weekend and missing his final game, Childs had a commanding presence as the captain of the Owls, often found managing the play around him from the center midfield position. He describes himself as a dynamic and coachable player, always working on his technical skills and making the little adjustments to improve his game.

Childs – seventh from the right – with the Owls, the bronze medallists at the 2018 Train 2 Compete Regional Tournament.

In his final year in the Provincial Program, Childs is hoping to capture that elusive gold medal at the National Championships that he has yet to achieve in three previous years. After graduation, he hopes to play for the UBC club team and continue his development with the Junior National Team in an effort to one day play for Team Canada at the Olympics.

“That’s been my goal ever since I was a kid,” Childs explained. “I loved watching the Olympics and watching people step on the podium. That’s always been my goal, to win an Olympic medal so I think that’s where the main inspiration comes from to go through all of this.”

While the Olympic dream has been a huge driving factor in his field hockey career, Childs has not lost sight of the steps along the way that have made him the athlete he is today. He continues to value the challenges and failures he has endured and uses them as motivation to keep improving. When asked about the highlights in his field hockey career, after listing his Junior National experience, he said:

“This is honestly my favourite one. After that year of not making Team BC, failing to make that year, being able to make Team BC that next year after experiencing that failure, I think that’s been my biggest accomplishment.”

With maturity and experience beyond his years, we are excited to follow Childs’ journey on the road to his last National Championships and beyond.