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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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: