OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced on Friday the 12 student-athletes and two coaches who will represent Canada at the 2016 FISU world university women’s futsal championship in Goiânia, Brazil, from July 3-10.
It will mark Canada’s first-ever participation at the biennial indoor soccer competition, which also includes a men’s draw. Since a women’s tournament was added to the event in 2008, Brazil has claimed all four titles, including its most recent triumph in Malaga, Spain, in 2014.
The Canadian squad heading to South America is highlighted by 11 players from the Canada West conference, including nine Alberta natives.
The roster is made up of goalkeepers Emily Burns of MacEwan University and Maria Tait of Mount Royal, as well as field players Emily Sands, Amanda Schafer and Navroop Virk of Mount Royal, Suekiana Choucair and Jennifer Lam of MacEwan, Aly Parth and Annalise Schellenberg of Alberta, Shelby Beck of Fraser Valley, Daniela Castro of Regina and Joëlle Gosselin of Laval.
Mount Royal’s Tino Fusco will serve as both team leader and head coach. He will be accompanied on the sidelines by assistant coach Graham Kennedy of St. Francis Xavier.
“Futsal is considered by FIFA as the fastest growing indoor sport in the world. We’re very pleased that CIS has allowed the opportunity for Canada to enter into this FISU world championship event,” said Fusco. “After being in Russia in 2013 for the Summer Universiade soccer tournament, I am honoured to lead the first-ever CIS futsal team and see the standard at an international level. Many Canadian universities use futsal as an indoor training environment during their off-season.
“Being our first attempt at the FISU futsal event, we must learn from the experience and we expect the team to compete with the best countries in what we are anticipating to be a crazy match-day atmosphere.”
The participating countries and pools for the competition will be officially announced in early May.
Name University Elig * Hometown Academic Program
Emily Burns MacEwan 1 Sherwood Park, Alta. Science
Maria Tait Mount Royal 3 Calgary, Alta. Criminal Justice
Shelby Beck Fraser Valley 5 Langley, B.C. Criminology
Daniela Castro Regina 3 Calgary, Alta. Kinesiology & Health Studies
Suekiana Choucair MacEwan 1 Edmonton, Alta. Science
Joëlle Gosselin Laval 2 Quebec City, Que. Anthropology
Jennifer Lam MacEwan 5 Edmonton, Alta. Arts
Aly Parth Alberta 1 Edmonton, Alta. Arts
Emily Sands Mount Royal 2 Calgary, Alta. Science
Amanda Schafer Mount Royal 3 Calgary, Alta. Child Studies
Annalise Schellenberg Alberta 5 Vancouver, B.C. Education
Navroop Virk Mount Royal 3 Calgary, Alta. Health & Physical Education
Head Coach & Team Leader: Tino Fusco (Mount Royal University)
Assistant Coach: Graham Kennedy (St. Francis Xavier University)
* Year of eligibility during 2015 CIS soccer season