Sports

Playing for Canada

Priya Randhawa of North Delta will play for Canada
Priya Randhawa of North Delta will play for Canada's national women's field hockey team against England and Wales.
— image credit: FIELD HOCKEY CANADA PHOTO

A field hockey player from North Delta is getting an opportunity to audition for a position with the national team that will play at the Commonwealth Games this summer.

Priya Randhawa, 19, is among four players from the junior women's national team invited to join the senior squad for seven games in Great Britain April 27 to May 7. The Canadian team left today (Thursday) and will play the first of four consecutive games against England on Sunday. Canada will also play three games against Wales before returning home.

In all, 20 players will make the trip, including three other junior team members – Amanda Woodcroft of Ontario, Rachel Donohoe from North Vancouver and Victoria's Kathleen Leahy.

"Priya, Amanda, Rachel and Kathleen are all promising junior athletes and have been working hard to claim regular a spot on the senior roster throughout 2013-14," said national team coach Ian Rutledge. "This trip will be invaluable for their growth and allow them to position for a spot in the final 16 for the Commonwealth Games."

The Commonwealth Games are July 23 to Aug. 3 in Glasgow, Scotland.

A member of Club India, Randhawa scored nine goals and added a pair of assists in 12 games played with the Premier Division team, tops among all players in the top-level of the Vancouver Women's field Hockey Association.

A graduate of North Delta Secondary School, she made her international debut against the United States in 2011 in San Diego with the junior national team.

The Canadian national women's team is currently ranked 23rd by the International Hockey Federation, and will face a difficult opponent in their first four matches in Great Britain. England is ranked third, behind only Netherlands and Argentina. Wales is ranked 29th.

"Against teams like England, you have no place to hide and this kind of exposure will test both our on-field and off-field systems," said Rutledge.

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