34 of Canada’s most promising young athletes took to Wright Field this past week for the Women’s National Program Target 2017 / Towards Tokyo Talent Identification Camp.
This event was the start of the Program’s campaign towards competing in the 2017 Junior World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Hailing from Alberta , BC, Ontario, and PEI and under the watchful eye of the Women’s National Team Coaching Staff, the prospects tested, trained and competed over the four day camp.
Of the group that attended the camp, 27 athletes are available for the 2016 Junior World Cup Qualifier of which 26 will be eligible to compete at the 2017 Junior World Cup.
Nine other athletes included were identified from the 2013 CIS Tournament and by provincial associations. All athletes were vying for future selection in the senior program for 2014 and beyond.
This camp was a chance for athletes to highlight their skills in an effort to be identified as a potential member of the National Team Program.
The past six months has been an exciting time for Women’s Field Hockey in Canada. The Senior Team won two bronze medals, the first at the Pan-American Cup in Argentina and then at the Hockey 9’s International Super Series in Australia. Looking ahead, the next major competition is the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held in Scotland this summer. The U21 program also played in the Women’s Junior World Cup this past July in Germany.
It is an exciting beginning for the new group of U21 athletes who have begun to prepare for the JWC two years ahead of previous groups and 7 years ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
« Long term elite athlete development will assist our programs quest for sustainable success on the International stage. » stated Women’s Head Coach, Ian Rutledge.
« The ability on show was impressive and the timing of the program is right to ensure that we tracking and actively developing talented athletes towards Olympic success », continued Rutledge.
This long-term a strategic approach to athlete development will make for a very strong and well-prepared group of athletes to represent their country in the future.
Another two Identification & Development Camps will take place in December in Ontario and Vancouver in early 2014, where coaches will again access talent and provide programming to athletes from all parts of the country, prior to refining the Squad for 2014.
Women’s National Assistant Coach, Robin D’Abreo, who will lead the Junior campaign, commented » I’m excited by the level of talent and potential for growth in our identified athletes. They approached the camp with a fearlessness that reflected both a belief in their own ability and openness to a new philosophy and approach we are taking to the game at the national level. I’m confident that we will have the base to realize both junior and senior level success in the Junior World Cup and Olympic campaigns that follow. »