Field Hockey Canada > Youth Indoor Team heads to Big Apple International Tournament

Canada’s U18 Indoor Women compete in Spring City

The Field Hockey Canada U18 Women’s Indoor Team is set to make history as they head to Spring City, Pennsylvania, to compete in the Big Apple International Indoor Championship from March 1-3. The tournament features an elite women’s division, providing a great high-level challenge for the young athletes in the Field Hockey Canada high-performance pathway. This is the first time Field Hockey Canada has sent an official national youth indoor team on an international tour.

Dave Cox, head coach of Team Canada, played national-team hockey in Barbados before moving to Canada 25 years ago. He’s been coaching indoor and outdoor hockey in the Greater Toronto Area for over 20 years. He said this ‘pilot’ project youth indoor team is a great first step for integrating indoor high performance hockey into the Canadian pipeline.

“This is a great opportunity to play in a truly high performance setting. Lots of these girls have played in high school, provincial teams but not that many have played internationally,” Cox said. “This type of hockey will put them in challenging situations and it will be a great chance for them to measure themselves against top competition. It will also allow them to develop their game for both the indoor version and outdoor hockey.”

For many of these rising stars, this marks their inaugural tour with a national team, showcasing the depth of talent in Canada’s youth field hockey development. The creation of the U18 Youth Women’s Indoor Team signals a milestone in Field Hockey Canada’s commitment to nurturing emerging talent, particularly in the realm of indoor hockey. Jordyn MacDonald is from Elmira, Ontario and started playing hockey when she was 12 years old. Last year, MacDonald toured to Europe with the U16 Youth National Team. This year, she said she’s excited to play in an international indoor competition, representing Canada.

“It’s awesome going on tour. Last year I went with the U16 Team to the Netherlands. I learned about the hockey culture there and had an amazing experience,” she said. “When you are on a national team, you get to meet players from across the country. It’s also nice to play at a higher level, learn new strategies and then bring them back to our club and high school team.”

MacDonald said that combining indoor and outdoor hockey skills makes her a more complete player and is excited to go on an international indoor tour. “In indoor, we get to work on our smaller skills in tighter spaces, and moving quickly, which has benefit in outdoor hockey as well. Once you move into the outdoor season, you start work on more positional hockey and longer harder passes to space,” she said. “This team has been having digital meetings, but I’m definitely excited to all get together and play. I’m definitely a little nervous, because I haven’t played indoor at this level, but most of all excited.”

The decision to integrate indoor hockey into the high-performance strategy reflects Field Hockey Canada’s forward-thinking approach. It not only provides valuable game opportunities but also underlines the organization’s dedication to fostering a well-rounded skill set in its athletes.

As Canada prepares to host the Indoor Pan American Cup in Calgary in March, the spotlight on indoor hockey serves to celebrate the sport and emphasize the seamless transition from indoor to outdoor field hockey. This not only showcases Canada’s indoor hockey success but also aims to inspire youth to engage with the sport at a higher level, further solidifying the nation’s presence in the global field hockey community. Cox said that with all the indoor excitement this year, it’s perfect to be taking a Youth team for an international tour.

“Indoor hockey is a fantastic sport, and we’ve really played a lot out east. Having the Indoor Pan Ams in Calgary will hopefully get a lot of eyes on the sport and allow it to grow across the country. It puts the highest level of indoor hockey on display and can show a legitimate pathway between indoor and outdoor hockey.”

The U18 Youth Women’s Indoor Team departs this week for Pennsylvania and will do some prep before playing in the Big Apple International Indoor tournament ion Spring City. Follow along by following the Field Hockey Canada social media as well as the FHC Youth Instagram account.