They were a part of Canadian field hockey history.
“It’s pretty insane,” says national team player Nora Struchtrup.
In August of this year, Struchtrup and UVic Vikes field hockey teammate Stefanie Sajko travelled to Chile with Field Hockey Canada’s u22 women’s team for the Junior Pan American Cup, where Canada won gold for the first time.
“I don’t think any of us thought it was really possible going into the tournament, but then we got our first few games under our belt,” says Struchtrup.
“It was definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever been involved in and I think it was just even more incredible knowing how much work we put into that.”
“Honestly for me probably the semi-final match was the most intense just because our whole purpose for going to the Pan American Games was to qualify and also place well,” says Sajko.
“So I’d say after the semi-final match that was probably the biggest shocker.”
Now Struchtrup and Sajko will be joined by fellow Vikes player Libby Hogg on their next international adventure to South Africa for the 2021 Women’s FIH Hockey Junior World Cup.
“Junior Worlds is basically the best 16 teams in the world competing against each other,” says Struchtrup.
“I personally didn’t expect myself to make the Chile team, so to go to world’s now is the biggest dream ever.”
“I’m extremely excited and quite honoured to represent Canada in this tournament,” says Hogg.
It won’t be a cheap trip however, with players required to pay their own way.
“The cost for South Africa is just under $9,000 which is a lot for university students as most of the girls on the team are,” says Struchtrup.
“It’s definitely hard but it’s well worth doing and any kind of support definitely helps,” says Sajko.
To donate to each player’s fundraiser, visit the Field Hockey Canada website.