Field Hockey Canada > Men's National Team visit to Vimy Ridge "truly a day none of us will ever forget”

It was a quiet, contemplative, and emotional day off the field for the Men’s National Team. In between their French Exhibition Series and the World League Semi-Finals, the team made a trip to a bit of home lying on French soil: Canada’s War Memorial at Vimy Ridge.

The team spent a sombre afternoon touring the towering marble monument as well as the bombed out battlefields, trenches and tunnels that weave their way underneath Vimy.

The team’s visit coincides with Vimy’s 100-year anniversary, while Canada celebrates its 150th year as a country – a time where the nation is particularly reflective, and so was the team.

“It was truly a day none of us will ever forget,” says midfielder Mark Pearson, who had a relative fight in World War One.

Vimy Ridge was a strategically important high point fiercely fought over during World War One. The sacrifice Canadians made in the battle of Vimy Ridge has come to define Canadian national identity – a message that wasn’t lost on the athletes.


The Battle of Vimy Ridge “helped Canada emerge and assert itself on the world stage. And I think that’s what we’re hoping to do in London in a week,” Pearson adds. “We’re not comparing what we have to do to what the Canadian soldiers did 100 years ago, but certainly it’s something that we can take inspiration from and something we can look to for strength.”

Canada’s men now turn their attention to the World League Semi-Final in London, England, which kicks off a week from today when they face Pakistan on June 16.

Click here for Canada’s World League Semi-Final schedule, results, and recaps.