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.