#FHCSheCan Stories are an opportunity for Field Hockey Canada to showcase the amazing things that girls and women do in this sport. By featuring some of the inspiring stories of women within our community, we can motivate and empower girls to stay involved and keep playing.
In August 2021, The Junior Women’s National Team claimed first place at the Junior Pan American Championships, qualifying them for the 2021 Junior World Cup. A historic accomplishment, this team has become the first Canadian outdoor team to accomplish this feat, the following are stories and reflections from the women involved in this success.
Rebecca Carvalho (She/Her); Caledon, ONT, University of Toronto, MF.
Describe your pathway within field hockey. How did you get to where you are today?
I started playing field hockey at the age of seven; playing both outdoor and indoor field hockey for Toronto Titans Field Hockey Club. At the age of thirteen, I made Team Ontario for the first time and thereafter played for Ontario for seven years in the U16, U18, and U23 age groups. I was invited to numerous National Talent Identification Camps during the outdoor season and finally made it onto the Junior Development Squad (now called NextGen) at the age of 16 and have been on a couple of tours with the Junior National Team to Ireland and USA. I also played in the recently concluded Junior Pan American Championship, where our team qualified for the 2021 Junior World Cup in South Africa and won gold! As for indoor field hockey, I have been a part of the Indoor National Team since 2017 and had the privilege to play the Indoor Pan American Cup in 2017 and 2021. Upon placing 2nd at the tournament in 2021, we earned a spot to the 2022 Indoor World Cup in Belgium!
What was the most memorable moment from JPAC?
The most memorable moment from JPAC was seconds before we qualified for the Junior World Cup in our semi-final game against Chile. During the last quarter, they were pressing us and applying a lot of pressure and we were trying to keep possession and move the ball, all while staying composed. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, I remember looking at the clock and thinking only five more minutes, we’ve got this. There were a few seconds left on the clock, I threw an aerial and just as the ball dropped, the final horn went off ending the game. As I was sprinting to join the rest of the team, I remember thinking, we did it.
What are your main takeaways from JPAC?
If I could describe JPAC in one word it would be ‘process’. We knew our end goal, to qualify for the Junior World Cup which meant we had to come top 3 in the tournament. But to get there we knew we had to stick to the process, meaning when we played each match, we weren’t thinking about the next match, our attention was solely on that game. And in every match, we played minute by minute, quarter by quarter. By following the process, not only did we achieve our goal, but we surpassed it and claimed the championship title! We really proved to ourselves and others that Canada is a force to be reckoned with and I am excited to see what lies ahead for our team.
What are you most looking forward to in the next year or so?
I am looking forward to the selection process and earning my spot on the team headed to the Junior World Cup. My pathway begins with having a strong season with my university team as well as continuing to develop my skills.
What advice can you give to your younger self / other girls wanting to follow in your footsteps?
The advice I would give to my younger self/other girls wanting to follow in my footsteps is to embrace every opportunity that comes your way and make the most of every minute you are out on the field. And when things get tough, just remember why you love the sport.
Click through the categories below to read more stories from #FHCSheCan Ambassadors in all areas of the game!
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Ambassadors are strong female role models and leaders from within our community that are open to sharing their stories.
Some examples of what these stories could include are;
If you would like to be featured or you know someone who should be featured, complete the She Can Story Survey HERE.