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Team Canada has qualified for the Women’s Field Hockey World Cup for the first time in 28 years – and they need your help.

Kelowna native Natalie Sourisseau led the team to the momentous feat of winning bronze at the Pan American Cup in January, booking her ticket to the big dance show scheduled for July in Terrassa, Spain.

Sourisseau admitted that the build-up to January’s tournament held in Santiago, Chile was “a bit hectic”, coming at a time when the Omicron variant was at its peak.

“In the meantime, and there was a lot of snow at the time so we couldn’t really practice, there were a lot of factors against us,” Sourisseau said. “Basically, we didn’t train for six weeks before the tournament.”

Canada beat rival USA in the match for third place.

“But we still managed to show up and get the job done. It was not necessarily the most beautiful, but we managed to win bronze.

Sourisseau began the sport while in KLO middle school, continuing to high school in Kelowna, winning provincial championships in her senior year.

All of this eventually led to a place in the national team in 2011.

From now on, she will wear the “C” on her chest during her first World Cup.

It’s quite an accomplishment – however, such an endeavor can be financially expensive, and the Canadian field hockey program has not received any Own the Podium government funding since 2015.

The costs of running a successful program come in all shapes and sizes, from court rentals to coaching salaries and training.

A fundraising page to help send the team to Spain has been created at www.fieldhockey.ca, under the name “Back the Pack”.

“It’s often perceived by the athlete,” Sourisseau said. “Most of us have paid tens of thousands of dollars in our careers to be able to participate in these tournaments.”

Sourisseau said the decision to qualify for Own the Podium funding is made on an annual basis, with funding for 2022 set in December last year – before Canada qualified for its first World Cup in almost three decades.

“We certainly did better than expected. So we hope that beyond this year, in the future, we can get funding.


@JakeC_16
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