April 23, 2014, VANCOUVER, BC (ISN) – 130 athletes ages 16-18 from across the province will compete in the Field Hockey BC Train to Compete Tournament this weekend, April 25-27, at Wright Field, UBC, for the opportunity to represent British Columbia at the U18 Junior National Championships, continuing a 40 year tradition of field hockey excellence in BC.
“Forty years ago, (April 1974), 64 female athletes from across the province competed in the BC Junior U19 Championships. From this tournament, and two weekend trials, 14 athletes were named to the first ever U19 Team BC team” recounts Sue Demuynck, member of the 1974 team and now President of Field Hockey BC.
“The junior team trained throughout the summer, and travelled to Toronto to compete in the inaugural Canadian Junior National Women’s Championship, August 31 to September 2, 1974. The BC girls won the Gold Medal, going undefeated throughout the Tournament!”
Many later went on to play at the university and national level. “Sue Oliver, Lynn Derry and I played for the University of Victoria and are all active members of the UVic Ol’Girls Alumni Group. MairiAnne Longmore, Lesley Williams, Michelle Williams and Nancy Moore all played for the Canadian Women’s National field hockey team” says Demuynck.
The athletes competing in this year’s tournament have devoted countless hours to Field Hockey BC’s regional development programs, local leagues, and school programs in preparation for the tournament. The graduating athletes’ hard work and determination has earned them spots on Canadian University teams, NCAA teams in the United States, and the Junior Canadian National team.
“All the athletes competing this weekend will be continuing a forty year tradition of excellence” says Demuynck, who will be cheering on the athletes this weekend at Wright Field, UBC. “We hope that 40 years later we will once again bring home the gold.”