U18 Nationals Day 2 Recap

All Three BC Girls Teams Advance to the Semi Finals

The success for the BC Girls continues as all three teams advanced to the semi-finals of the 2018 U18 National Championships.

After a hard fought battle with the BC Rams last night, the BC Stags finished day 1 with a 1-1 record, making their game against Alberta this morning a must-win in order to advance to the semis. Stags’ forward, Libby Hogg, scored in the first minute and they kept the lead for the rest of the game.

Their 2-0 victory over Alberta punched their ticket to the semi-final, where they will face the BC Lions.

Despite having a bit of a tough game this morning, the Rams squeaked out a 1-0 win over Ontario East to finish the round robin undefeated. The Rams goal scorer, Bronwen Rees-Wiedemann, said despite having a tough game today, they are happy with their position going into their semi-final against Ontario West.

“It was more of a relief than anything, because we really needed it,” explained Rees-Wiedemann. “Our coach, Bubli, said every team has a game like this where we can’t really finish so it’s good that ours has passed. Moving forward we want to play like we did yesterday, because that was probably the best we’ve ever played as a team.”

The BC Lions continue to impress, with an 11-1 victory over Quebec to clinch their berth in Thursday’s semi-final. Their final match against Ontario Central, a tight one which ended in a 2-1 Lions victory, put them first in their pool, set to face the BC Stags.

“I’m excited that we made the semis, that was a big goal of ours,” said Lions captain, Nora Struchtrup.

The Lions, the BC team with the least expectations on them coming into this tournament, have definitely turned some heads with their undefeated round robin performance.

“I think it’s going to be a huge advantage being the underdogs,” reflected Struchtrup. “I know we can do it if we play as a team. We’ve got a goal scoring team, I think Cam [Camryn Haines] scored her ninth goal in three games, it’s crazy. Anything is possible and I’m really excited to see where those games take us.”

BC Boys Rams Edge BC Lions to Advance to the Semi-finals

After the BC Lions had a disappointing round robin, finishing 4th in their pool with an 0-3 record, they left it all on the field in their quarter-final match with their provincial rivals, the BC Rams.

The Rams, who finished first in their pool and are among the favourites for a podium finish, got a bit of a scare from the Lions who, despite being underdogs coming in, believed they had it in them to take the Rams out of contention.

“We know them, we know their skill set, we’ve played against them before,” said BC Lions forward, Sahjun Sehmi. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, they’re easily probably the best team in the tournament, we know it’s going to be a tough battle.”

After Amraaz Dhillon gave the Rams an early lead off of a shortcorner, the Lions answered back with two quick goals late in the first half, giving them the advantage going into halftime.

The Rams poured on the pressure early in the second half and on the last play before the quarter break, managed to tie it up with yet another shortcorner goal by Dhillon.

“I felt like I owed it to my teammates because they put faith in me, and my coach Kevin Pereira, he’s the one who chose the flicking option on the shortcorners,” explained Dhillon. “I just have to thank my teammates for getting the corner and my coach for giving me the opportunity.”

A quick goal after the quarter break by Naman Sharma gave the Rams the lead, and despite a strong push by the Lions in the final minutes, the Rams were able to hold on for a 3-2 win. The Rams victory puts them in the 1:30 PM (EST) semi final against Ontario Central, a team that has won the last two U18 National Championships.

After winning both of their round robin games quite handily, Dhillon believes it is a positive for their team to have overcome some adversity in their quarter final match-up, as the competition heats up going into the playoff rounds.

“My friend and teammate Rowan Childs always says adversity sparks greater opportunity,” said Dhillon. “It really woke us up because we were down for a long time in that game and for us to build up and come back and win I think that shows how good of a team we are and how good we can be.”

All four BC semi-finals will take place between 11:30 AM and 3:00 PM EST.  Follow @fieldhockeybc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the day, and follow along for live scores at https://fhc.altiusrt.com/

U18 Nationals Day 1 Recap

BC Starts Strong With 3 Teams Going Undefeated on Day 1

Many of BC’s U18 teams got just the start they were looking for on Day 1 of the National Championships in Toronto, Ontario. Both the Boys and Girls BC Rams came out of the day with two wins, as did the BC Girls Lions, who pulled off a bit of an upset against a very strong Ontario team.

The Girls Lions started the day with a massive 15-0 win over Prince Edward Island. 16 year-old Camryn Haines of Trail, BC led the team with six goals in this blowout game.

“It feels good to score, but I’m not going to let it get to my head,” said Haines. “I’m just going to go back out there and see what happens, stay by the net and hopefully get a few more. Coming into the game against PEI we didn’t know anything about them so we just wanted to play our best and see what we can do.”

“Our plan going in was not to take any team for granted no matter what they’re reputation is, just play your hardest, don’t underestimate anybody and give it your all,” explained first year BC Lions midfielder, Leah Fourie.

The Lions carried that momentum into their second game against Ontario West, a much tougher match-up in which the Lions proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. BC never trailed in that game, but Ontario brought it to a tie twice before Allison Kuzyk gave her team back the lead off of a short corner late in the game. With a 3-2 win over Ontario, the Lions are currently tied for first in their pool with Ontario Central, who they will face tomorrow afternoon.

On the Boys side, the BC Lions did not have the start that they’d hoped for, with a 6-2 loss to Alberta and a 4-1 loss to Ontario Central. They will have their final round robin game tomorrow morning before heading into the quarter-finals tomorrow afternoon.

The BC Boys Rams had a very strong start to their tournament with two decisive victories over Ontario East (4-0) and USA (10-0).

“It’s definitely a great result to start off. Everyone was working really hard, it was really impressive,” said 18 year-old Rams midfielder, Rowan Childs. “We have some things to clean up and there’s still a long way to go, we’re taking it one team at a time.”

In a pool of only three teams, the Rams have already concluded their round robin play and have clinched first place, which lands them in the first quarter-final against the fourth place team in Pool A.

“Preparation is going to be huge. Nutrition and hydration, that sort of thing,” said Childs. “The biggest thing is making sure you’re taking care of your body between games.”

The BC Girls Rams had a big day as well, with a commanding 6-1 victory over Alberta in the morning. In their second game, they took on their Provincial rivals, the BC Stags, in what was a very close and exciting match-up. The Rams took the lead early with a goal from Mia Zurkovic and they held onto it for the rest of the game, leading them to a 2-0 victory, despite the push back from the Stags.

“It was a super nerve-wracking game,” reflected BC Rams captain, Tessa Johnston. “We were able to score in the first two minutes which helped us to let go of the nerves and build on that to keep going harder and harder, because they pushed so hard and played so well. They made it a really good game.”

With one round robin game left to play against Ontario East, the Rams look to continue building on their early success and come out strong in every game.

“Our first game we had a bit of a groggy start, it took us a while to get into it,” said Johnston. “The first five minutes is a huge thing for us. We want to go out hard and maybe scare the other team a little, keeping possession and communicating really well as a team.”

The BC Stags, despite their tough loss to the Rams, are still in a great position thanks to their 9-0 win this morning over Ontario East. The Stags and the Rams currently sit first and second in their pool with one round robin game remaining. Only the first two teams in each pool will advance to the semi-final on Thursday.

The girls and boys BC teams are back at it bright and early tomorrow, with the BC Boys Lions kicking things off at 9:45 AM EST against Quebec. Follow @fieldhockeybc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updated throughout the day, and follow along for live scores at https://fhc.altiusrt.com/.

 

 

U18 National Championships Preview

BC Teams Chase the Elusive Gold Medal at U18 National Championships

The 2018 U18 National Championships begin tomorrow, running from July 17-20 at the University of Toronto, Ontario. BC has a total of five teams competing in the tournament, with three on the girls side and two on the boys side all fighting for the National Title.

After two consecutive silver medal finishes at the U18 National Championships, the BC Girls Rams have one thing on their minds going into this tournament: first place. Their Ontario rivals took home the gold medal at the 2016 and 2017 Nationals, a streak they hope to break this year.

BC Rams senior and 5 time Team BC athlete, Tessa Johnston has never won gold in her Team BC career and in her last year playing at the junior level, she is hungry for it.

“There’s so much drive there from each team, I think everyone is so competitive and pushing for it so hard,” said Johnston. “It’s really exciting. Even watching the U15 game today, everyone was so excited and just ready to start.”

Eve Carrothers, midfielder for the BC Rams, is also chasing her first gold medal victory. In her second year with the U18 Rams, the 17 year-old Tsawwassen native has embraced her position as both a mentor to the younger players and one who can learn from the seniors on her team.

“Last year I was a bit nervous being the youngest and now that I’ve gotten that over with it’s fun to get to know the younger girls, they’re all really confident and nice to have around,” explained Carrothers.

The BC Stags, who finished third at the 2017 National Championships, are looking to improve on that result with a trip to the finals this year. The Vancouver Island team has no shortage of young talent, with only three seniors on their roster, including Victoria natives, Cara Butler and Stefanie Sajko.

“It’s cool to see the different perspectives of the game,” reflected Butler. “I think they’re learning from us as well as we’re learning from them and I think they want it as much as we do even though we’ve been around a bit longer.

With the two Vancouver Island teams finishing first and third at the BC Regional Trials back in April, the Stags are feeling confident that they can push for a podium finish and contend for the gold medal this tournament.

“It gives us some motivation, I think we have a really strong team,” said Sajko. “We’ve meshed really well together and trained really hard. I think we have a really good chance at getting a medal this year.”

The Lions, BC’s mixed team with athletes from the Interior, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland, narrowly missed the semi-finals at last year’s Nationals and ended up in fifth place.

On the U18 Boys side, the BC Rams are hungry for revenge on the Ontario team who has come out on top at Nationals the past several years. For senior players Rowan Childs and Gary Mann, the rivalry with Ontario has been developing since their years at the U15 level.

“It’s our last year at U18’s so I just want to give it my best,” said Mann. “We want to make sure we come out of the tournament strong and get that gold.”

For all of the U18 Boys seniors, this is their last chance as junior players to finally capture the gold medal that has eluded them each year at the National Championships.

“Watching the U15’s today brought back those painful memories of always getting silver,” Childs explained. “For me, it just gives me that drive and pure excitement.

Also in strong medal contention are the BC Lions, who took the bronze medal at last year’s U18 National Championships. Lions forward Sahjun Sehmi is one of two players on the Lions who has been travelling from Vancouver Island every week for the past two months to train on the Lower Mainland with Team BC.

As a player who has faced adversity through injury and the added challenge of travelling from the Island to play field hockey, Sehmi embraces the underdog status that his team holds.

“We know what we’ve got to do, stick to our strategies and play our game,” said Sehmi. “Everyone loves a good Cinderella story, the other teams might come in underestimating us. I’m used to it, I like being an underdog.”

With so many strong and determined teams competing for a common goal, we can’t wait to see how this tournament unfolds for our BC teams. You can follow the action live at fhc.altiusrt.com and follow the official tournament website at http://www.fieldhockey.ca/2018-national-championships/

For recaps, news and updates on all of our BC Teams, make sure to follow @Fieldhockeybc on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also get updates directly from www.fieldhockeybc.com.

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

The social event of the season starts tomorrow! We can’t wait for a fun, sunny weekend of hockey at the Vancouver International Tournament.

The event will take place May 19-21 at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. Join us at the Vancouver Rowing Club at 6:30 tonight for the Friday Night Social! Refreshments will be provided as well as a free beer jug for each team.

We hope to see you all there!

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!