In two days’ time, the WGM Grand Masters World Cup will kick off in Barcelona, Spain as the Canadian Men’s Grand Masters Team (60+ division) takes on South Africa. Led by coach and team manager Donald Paterson, 16 players are due to take the field from June 20-30, 2018.
POOL MATCH SCHEDULE
CANADA vs SOUTH AFRICA | June 21, 2018 | 1045
CANADA vs AUSTRALIA | June 22, 2018 | 1415
CANADA vs SCOTLAND | June 24, 2018 | 1415
CANADA vs USA | June 26, 2018 | 900
*All game times are listed in local time
Featuring players from four Canadian field hockey club teams, three provinces, and a member from the United States, the team prides itself on its ability to extend opportunities to older athletes. According to Paterson, they can now aim to do more than enjoy a game, but be a part of the World Cup action as well.
“There is no greater thrill of playing for your country whether you are 26 or 66,” Paterson said. “Wearing the red and white of Canada is quite special. The team has worked very hard, put aside their decades-old habits and [adopted] the goal of representing Canada.”
On-site training sessions for all Grand Masters teams will occur from June 18-20, with the Opening Ceremony taking place on Wednesday night. Pool round matches begin the next morning.
Canadian team member, Ian Baggott, who also serves as the chair of Field Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors, states that the World Cup offers the opportunity for Canada to face 17 other nations, something that Canada hasn’t done for over 20 years.
“The whole Canadian Grand Masters team is very ‘fired-up’,” Baggott said. “We have no idea what challenges this event may bring, but we will give it our best…albeit all 16 players have only had one 2-day event to play as a team. Such are the challenges of a widely dispersed community.”
Patrick Oswald, originally a part of the squad named to play for the World Cup, now serves as the assistant coach to Paterson after injuring his ACL in January. He remains optimistic that the event will inspire others as Canada continues to grow the Grand Masters program.
He said, “The [Field Hockey Canada] audience is bound to be impressed, and for our current national and junior national squads, they will be very happy to learn that they can continue to represent Canada for decades to come. Their international careers need not end when they retire.”
The 2018 WGM Grand Masters features 77 teams from 18 nations and marks Canada’s first-ever appearance in the competition. Stay tuned to the tournament website and Field Hockey Canada’s event page for tournament updates.
Ken Beckett (GK)
Gord Plottel (C)
Donald Paterson – Team Manager
Patrick Oswald – Assistant Coach
Sonia Virdi – Physiotherapist