Today marks the beginning of the one month countdown to the 2017 Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 in West Vancouver, British Columbia.
From April 1-9, 2017, Canada’s women’s field hockey team hosts six other nations, as all teams aim for 2018 Hockey World Cup qualification. The top two finishers in West Vancouver move on to World League 3 this summer, where spots for the World Cup are up for grabs.
For the Canadian women, who train full-time and year-round in Vancouver, playing at home is an opportunity that does not come around very often.
Before competing at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario in July 2015, Canada’s Women’s National Team had not played on home soil since May 2012, when the team hosted the United States for a test series in Victoria.
But on the west coast, there hasn’t been a competition of the magnitude of World League since an Olympic qualifying event was held in Victoria in April 2008.
Kate Wright, who is currently the Women’s National Team’s leader in games played and is third in all-time games played, was the only active player to compete in that series.
Now, nine years later, the Canadian women once again have the opportunity to play in front of family, friends, and fans in Western Canada in a competition with important implications.
In addition to it being the first major competition in the West since 2008 ,the vast majority of the women who will be named to the team will be playing in the West for the first time. And with the current squads consisting of predominantly British Columbia bred athletes, it will be a homecoming of sorts.
So, with one month to go, the anticipation builds. And with the local flavour, the long wait, and the opportunity to make an impact on home soil, this edition of the Women’s National Team is “Made For This” opportunity.
Tickets for Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 in West Vancouver are on sale now and can be purchased here.
For more tournament information, click here.
For Canada’s schedule, results, and recaps click here.