Popular CBC host Rick Mercer spent a day with the Canadian Women’s Field Hockey Team on Monday March 3rd in Vancouver, shooting all day long for a segment of his show, the Rick Mercer Report.
Rick wanted to discover and showcase some of the athletes preparing for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In the characteristic style of his show, he immersed himself in the team routine and took an active part in every aspects of a typical training day.
The morning session was indoors at the Richmond Oval and the day started with Lauren Logush officially welcoming Rick to the team, explaining that his exceptional qualities and strong work ethic had caught their eyes and that his selection was long overdue. She presented him with his National Team kit, including a team jersey with his name, that he proudly wore all day.
After a general introduction to the sport with Coach Ian Rutledge and team captain Kate Gillis, Rick did some stretching exercise with the players then was keen to start using his brand new hockey stick, but realized quickly that even the basic acts of stopping and hitting the ball were not as obvious as the players make them look.
Rick shared the team lunch, questioning the girls on their life as national team athletes and entertaining them with stories from other shows, before everybody moved to the UBC pitch for the afternoon session. The weather cooperated by temporarily suspending the rain and Rick could get a good feel of play on a standard outdoor pitch during a spirited scrimmage with all the players, during which he, mostly unsuccessfully, chased the ball before deciding to firmly take position in front of the goal and wait for a good pass to score. Despite his best intentions and the cooperation of goal-keeper Kaitlyn Williams, the sequence where he scored with a spectacular dive needed to be re-shot a few times.
After deciding that goal-keeping might be better suited to his aptitude for the sport, Rick Mercer was promptly equipped by the three goal-keepers on-hand and was soon ready to face the shots of the squad. Experts on the sidelines seemed slightly puzzled by his display of somewhat unorthodox technique.
Everybody is now interested to see how the full day of shooting will be condensed into a segment of 7 minutes on the Rick Mercer Show that will be aired on CBC on March 25, an excellent exposure on national television for field hockey.
The Rick Mercer Report showcasing the Women’s National Team