Field Hockey Canada > 2018 U15 Field Hockey Canada Nationals – July 13 Recap

Toronto, ON — The sun was fierce on the Back Campus Fields at the University of Toronto, but the action was fiercer. After kicking the event off yesterday with teaser matches in the evening, the U15 Nationals action heated up today with 11 matches at the two university fields.

Head Coach Jen Beagan’s BC Rams are undefeated after day one — a result she’s happy with and attributes to the dedicated work of the athletes throughout the summer.

“We have our set game plans and strategies that we have been working on all summer long,” she said. “And our expectations are that we improve every game.”

As a high-level player in her own right, she said her experience and ability to relate with the players as they go through the Nationals experience can be really helpful.

“So far, they’ve been doing great,” she said. “We’re here to support them in the tournament setting. I’ve played under a lot of really quality coaches and I’m happy to use my experience to help guide them.”

With a 2-0 start to the tournament, Beagan is looking forward to the rest of the competition. Alternatively, coaching on the boys side, is senior national men’s national team athlete Adrien D’Andrade. D’Andrade’s Rams are also undefeated winning their only game of the day against the US National U15 team.

D’Andrade and his coaching partner Ali Currimbhoy have worked together for several years. D’Andrade said that with this age group, it’s all about establishing a good balance.

“For most of them, this is their first trip away for hockey,” he said. “We want to find that balance of instruction without overloading them.”


D’Andrade went on to say that when it comes to the on-pitch work, they are really trying to set the next generation up for success moving forward in their playing careers.

“We try to teach a lot of the learning points on why we do certain things,” he said. “If they can understand why we are doing certain things, they can start to make better decisions on the field.”

The patience, balance and disciplined showed through in their thorough 6-0 win against the US. They looked polished and structured and are back at it tomorrow with a match against a Quebec team that drew with USA in the morning.

The travelling Americans had a tough start to the tournament but their coach, Mike Barminski, said he’s expecting the team to improve throughout the tournament. Barminski, an eight-year veteran of the US Men’s National Team, grew up playing in the US National Junior Program and remembers his first time playing in Canada in a similar setting. He says his experience throughout the years is a good support service for the kids going through the exact same process.

“The US program is really important to me,” he said. “I want to see the kids excel and progress and I want to help give them the tools to succeed.”

Barminsky said the experience this American team gets by travelling to Canada for hockey is transformative and sets the kids up for future success.

“It’s such a great learning experience to come up here and learn to play as a unit. It’s a new atmosphere for them. It’s that much better than just a regular Sunday hockey league.”



Stewart Cawthray

Toronto, Ontario

How did you first get into umpiring?

My daughter started playing about three years ago, and since there’s not really a lot of opportunities for adults to play field hockey, I found that umpiring is way to get involved with the game.

Why Nationals?

Nationals is just exciting. Being here in this high level of play is a learning opportunity. It’s a chance to work with the best umpires with some of the best players in Canada at this age, and to have this chance is fantastic.

What do you think is the most valuable about youth sports?

The lessons they learn beyond just athleticism, the teamwork, the idea of having a goal to achieve and having to put in the work and effort to achieve them — I think those are the biggest things you can take from it.

Dream destination?

If I had the money, I would be on one of the first commercial flights into space.

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Jasbir Singh Tatla

Vancouver, BC

How did you first get into umpiring?

I started playing because my son plays for the BC team, and when I saw them playing, I thought, why not starting new rules and regulations so I can teach them too? I’m at the regional level now, so I’ve come a long way.

Why Nationals?

The main thing when I umpired last year was the coaches we had. They gave us a lot of feedback in comparison to league play, and I think [Nationals] is a great time to improve your skills.

What do you think is the most valuable about youth sports?

It’s the teamwork. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or if you’re married, teamwork is everywhere.

Favourite thing about Toronto?

The heat.