Player Name: Matthew Sarmento
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
First International Cap: 2013 World League Round 2, France
Current/Past Club Teams: Vancouver Hawks/KHC Leuven, GTHGC Flottbek
University team: UVIC Vikes/UBC Thunderbirds
Coaching experience: U16 Canada, FHBC, Rob Short Academy, York House, St. George’s School, Vancouver Hawks Club Head Coach
QUESTION: What does it mean to you to get to represent Canada on the international level? What are the thoughts and emotions when you put on the Team Canada uniform in a big game?
ANSWER: Proud sense of accomplishment. Not to go without many thanks to my family and friends along the way. No matter the importance of the game, it is always special and exciting to play a game for Canada.
QUESTION: When you first got involved with the Men’s National Team? Who were your immediate role models? Players that you looked up, that showed you the ropes and inspired you on and off the field?
ANSWER: Has to be Smitty! Iain Smythe was a heart and soul Canadian forward and someone I looked up to a lot. I had a lot of leadership and guidance from him and we continue to be teammate with the Hawks.
QUESTION: You are a two-time Olympian and have played at the Field Hockey World Cup. Can you talk about those two major events highlighting similarities and differences and what makes them special?
ANSWER: They are both so unique. World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and truly a special tournament to be a part of. It didn’t go our way in 2018 so I don’t have too many fond memories from our time in India. Rio 2016 was a great spectacle to be a part of. We didn’t execute on the field, but was still very enjoyable to be a part of and can always look back happy on the support I had from my family, girlfriend, and many other Canadian supporters! The Olympics are so much more than hockey and I’ve been thankful to play in two.
QUESTION: You’ve been to the Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics. What’s the special feeling of major multi-sport Games?
ANSWER: For the most part, there is a vibe that everyone is equal and all athletes are working together for the greater Team Canada. It nice to share some of the coolest experiences with other Canadian athletes.
QUESTION: Can you talk about the Red Caribou leading up to the Pan American Games? Coming out of the Japan tour and looking forward to Santiago, what makes this team strong?
ANSWER: We are younger, much more raw team than we have been in the past and we can use that to play stress-free and to catch some teams off guard. Without much international travel, we’ve been able to focus on our daily training and make strides at home and grow together. Japan was a great opponent to face as we were able to try out some tactics and gel as a team on and off the pitch. No doubt the boys will be ready in Santiago.
QUESTION: As a long-time member of the Red Caribou, and looking forward into the future, what can this group do to improve the program for the future as well as achieve success in the short term?
ANSWER: We have a lot of guys in and around our environment that have played meaningful games for Canada on the biggest stages. We can use this experience to help shape the future of this program by giving back and sharing what we know and what we were given form our former peers. We still have a lot of pieces that can perform when called up.
QUESTION: You have coached at Hawks and most recently with the Youth National Teams. What has that experience been like? What role do you see coaching in your future. Is this something you want to keep pursuing?
ANSWER: It has been great to share my passion for the sport with the next generation. The experience is keeping me motivated to continue as a player and I can use what I learn on a daily basis to help shape my coaching. We will see where this take me.
Favourite Tournament you’ve been to:
London 2017 or Gold Coast 2018
Favourite country to play field hockey in:
Favourite post-game snack:
Food and drinks with the boys
Inspiring athlete from a different sport:
Matt Sarmento participating in the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2022 Pan American Cup.
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