Field Hockey Canada > Ken Pereira set to continue stellar career representing Canada

To get a sense of how long Ken Pereira has been playing field hockey at the international level, one need only look as far as his own interactions.

“It’s funny,” says the 41 year-old who has represented Canada at almost every major tournament in which field hockey is contested. “Every time I tell somebody I’m going to the World Cup a lot of them are asking me ‘Oh are you going as the coach?’ And I tell them ‘No, I’m still playing.’”

“That kind of stuff doesn’t bother me at all.”

And why would it?

Not only is he still playing, but Pereira is headed to the 2015 Indoor World Cup in Leipzig, Germany as a leader of the Canadian team.

It will be his third time at the tournament, but the Unionville, Ontario native isn’t counting. He’s just doing what he has always done, looking to have a good time and play his best.

“I don’t think about it as my last, I don’t think about it as my first,” he says. “It’s just another tournament that I want to do really well in on the world stage for Canada.”

It’s a formula that has worked quite well.

Pereira is the leader in international outdoor matches played for Canada and is among the leaders in indoor caps.

He has been to Olympic Games, World Cups, and Commonwealth Games, where he was Canada’s flag bearer. And for Pereira, as much the results are important, there’s nothing more important than the balance of competing and taking in the whole experience.

“Coming from Canada, you don’t get to play in major events too often,” he explains. “We always struggle to qualify, funding is always an issue, so when we do get there we definitely have to enjoy it and experience it but also know what we’re there for and that’s to compete and to do as best as Canada can do.”

It’s a sentiment he has been trying to impart on the younger members of the team – of which there are many – before the begin play at the World Cup on February 4th.

“I always just tell them have fun with it and have fun with the crowd and enjoy everything as much as you can,” he says in his trademark relaxed tone.

“When you think of it a lot of these guys have been playing this game since they were ten, so it’s just another game and whatever happens within the boards you can control and whatever happens outside you can’t control.”

Admittedly, Pereira says months of training, with only a few matches, can take a toll on someone who has trained a countless number of times for a countless number of tournaments. That’s where he says the youth on this year’s roster has kept him motivated along the way.

“It happens when you’ve been training for the last six months and you get to January where you’re a couple weeks away,” he explains. “You get into training and maybe you’re not all there and you get a couple of kids who are seventeen years old who are running around like crazy, they’re excited, and you see them and you kind of feed off their vibe.”

Now, the time for training is over and what’s certain is there will be no lack of excitement when it comes time to play for keeps in less than a week.

“For me it’s pure excitement once I get there,” he says. “I know once I get there I’m going to feel like I’m 20 years old and once I get on the court.

“I want to be going crazy, running around, and doing whatever I can to help Canada.”

Which is exactly what Ken Pereira does best.

The Canadian Men’s Indoor National Team begins the 2015 Indoor World Cup on February 4th with two games. To view the complete schedule and results,click here. Also stay tuned to Field Hockey Canada’s websiteFacebook and Twitter feeds for game recaps, photos, and more.