The Road to Rio de Janeiro for the 2007 Pan American Games, 13-29 July goes through Vancouver Island for the Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey Team. The Women’s Pan American Games Team will prepare with a training camp on Vancouver Island from 27 June until 2 July.

This Vancouver Island training camp provides the women with a good change of scene and an opportunity to prioritize team building activities. There is good access to quality water based field hockey pitches as the team will be practicing at both the Cowichan Sportsplex and the University of Victoria. UVic is also the site of the 2008 Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The Canadian Women have had success with Vancouver Island as a place of departure before major tournaments. In 2006, the women conducted a similar Island training camp before their 2006 European Tour where the women won 8 matches with 1 loss.

There is great support from the Cowichan Hockey Club and the local community with meals and billeting opportunities. The Canadian Women are pleased to give back and will integrate with youth hockey sessions at the women’s U-14 and U-16 Field Hockey BC programs on Saturday 30 June.

For Meghan Anderson of Duncan, BC, a talented up and coming defender with 37 international caps, this marks a homecoming journey. "I'm extremely excited to be preparing for the Pan American Games in Duncan. Its all very surreal as I really wouldn't have thought I would be representing Canada in a major tournament trying to qualify for the Olympics."

The Pan American Games tournament is a significant tournament for field hockey as there is one qualification spot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics on the line for the gold medal winner. Further, point are at stake for the FIH World Rankings which means there is a chance for the women to improve their 19th place international ranking.

The Canadian women will have another opportunity to qualify for Beijing with the backing of the hometown crowd as they host an Olympic Qualifier Tournament at the University of Victoria in April 2008.

Field Hockey Canada will publicly announce the women’s and men’s Pan American Games team rosters on 27 June after the completion of the Men’s Ireland and France Tour.

Source: Field Hockey Canada