News and Announcements
With the 2016 Rio Olympics around the corner the world’s eyes are focused in on high performance athletes fine tuning their skills and preparing for the biggest sporting event. Alongside the thousands of athletes and teams preparing are the many, many officials that help ensure the sport is conducted in a fair and safe environment.
Though the Rio Olympics are not in the sights of Canadian field hockey umpire Tyler Klenk, there is still lots of time for the 23-year-old to check a visit to the most prestigious games off his bucket list. Recently Klenk officiated his first international appointment at the Toronto-hosted Junior Men’s Pan American Championships, May 23-28.
“The experience was fantastic,” exclaimed Klenk. “Being that it was my first international appointment, it was a great opportunity to ‘get my feet wet’ so to speak.”
“It was also fantastic that I was able to do my first international competition on home soil. It was great to see Canadian Field Hockey rally behind the whole tournament.”
Junior World Cup qualification was on the line for the eight teams participating and while the Under-21 athletes were busy getting in the right mindset for their young international careers, Klenk was just beginning his show on the world stage.
Having umpired since the age of 14, Klenk has had several years of experience blowing the whistle but it wasn’t until he relocated to British Columbia that he started to take things more seriously. Moving to Vancouver Island to attend the University of Victoria and play for the school’s varsity team placed him in one of the biggest hockey hotbeds in Canada. Along with playing in the Vancouver men’s premier league, Klenk was also a junior national team identified athlete giving him a slight advantage when he does trade in his stick for a whistle.
“Playing at such a high level previous to umpiring gives me the ability see situations from the perspective of the players,” said Klenk, who banked five international games in Toronto. “It also helps me to anticipate the play before it happens. As the speed of the game is also increasing, this anticipation is very important for me to be in better position.”
Klenk’s first appointment was in round-robin play between Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago and from there he finished the tournament umpiring the bronze medal game between Chile and the USA. Klenk’s performance will see his current National rating improve to his international badge. From there the ladder gets steeper with fewer international officials moving on to later qualify for the Promising Umpires List, FIH Grade 1 Umpire, World Development Panel and the World Panel, the latter of which include most of the officials that go to the Olympics.
For now, Klenk can look back on his first international event as a success and the first step on his pathway to being a stand out umpire for Canada.
“The one thing I will take away from the Toronto event is the speed of the international game,” noted Klenk. “Players are becoming more and more skillful and this requires umpires to be on top of their game as well. I really became aware of the importance of using domestic matches to work on all of the areas I need to improve. That way, when I get another international appointment, I will hopefully be on top of my game.”
Prior to this Klenk has banked several major Canadian tournaments including multiple national championships, BC premier men’s games, BC provincial championships, Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships, Canada West matches as well as the 2015 Canada Cup and 2015 California Cup. Klenk was also named the 2015 Canada West Umpire of the Year following a strong season in the University scene.
Klenk’s umpire development continues both in Vancouver and Victoria and he credits two local officials for helping guide him to where he is now.
“The two most influential people in my umpiring career so far are Chris Wilson and Denise McGeachy,” highlights Klenk of Victoria-based Wilson, a former FIH umpire and current umpire manager, and McGeachy, a Nationally-ranked umpire. “They have both pushed me to improve myself by taking on more and more challenging games. They have helped me develop my skills while helping to identify the areas that I need to improve. I think most importantly; they have not tried to change the kind of umpire I am. Instead, they help make my skill set shine.”
Inevitably Klenk’s skill set will continue to develop and shine upon his return to the West coast and although Klenk may be forced to watch the Rio Olympics from his TV this August, it seems likely that one day the country will be able to watch him on the Olympic stage in years to come.
Story by Ali Lee
Photo: Yan Huckendubler (PAHF)
Canada’s Under-21 men left the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship with a silver medal and spot at the 2016 Junior World Cup after taking second place following a 5-0 loss to Argentina Saturday in Toronto.
Victoria’s Harbir and Amardeep Sidhu were among the Canadian roster that had a slow start to the tournament on home soil but recovered well in the cross-over rounds.
The two Pan Am finalists, Argentina and Canada, are headed to December’s Junior World Cup in India as the Pan American representatives. Chile took the Pan Am bronze after a 4-1 defeat of the United States.
The Canadian men finished the 2016 Pan American Championship with three wins and three losses.
“It’s been great. It’s really made me realize the competition that’s our there,” says 16 year-old Canadian midfielder James Wallace, who had the honour of wearing the captain’s armband in the final of his first major international tournament for Canada. “It just motivates me more when I get back in Vancouver to train harder, get on the pitch more, run more, do all those things so next time we see them we’ll be ready.”
Argentina controlled for a majority of Saturday’s gold medal match, beginning with an up-tempo pace and carrying the majority of the possession in the first few minutes. The start resulted in a first penalty corner in the 5th minute of play but a good stick tackle by Ganga Singh stopped the attempt.
In the 7th minute, however, Maico Casella, the tournament’s top goal scorer, converted on a penalty stroke after a mad scramble in front of Canadian goalkeeper Iqwinder Gill.
After Argentina went up 2-1, the Canadians seemed to settle into the match and began to hold the ball themselves and work their way into the Argentine end.
The Canadians picked up their first corner of the game after a well designed play into Argentina circle resulted in the ball hitting an Argentinian foot.
Brandon Pereira’s dragflick was stopped by left-hand of goalkeeper Emiliano Bosso to keep the game at 1-0.
Argentina added another goal in the 24th minute off the stick of Nicolas Keenan, who tapped the ball in at the side of the net after it came loose behind Gill.
“I thought we had a good game but we had a few lapses and that’s where they scored,” adds Wallace. “With a team as good as Argentina, just like the ones we’ll face in India you can’t let this happen, because they’ll bury them.”
Canada had a chance to come within one in the final minute of the first half when they picked up two corners but couldn’t convert on either attempt.
The next goal of the match would be the decider as it would bring Canada within one or put the Argentines up by three with less than one half to play.
Unfortunately for the Canadians, in the 45th minute Argentina converted on a corner with Canada shorthanded because of a yellow card given minutes earlier.
Despite Canada’s best efforts, Argentina would add two more before time was out to go on to the 5-0 win.
Source: Field Hockey Canada
Photo: Yan Huckendubler (PAHF)
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team will have a new face in charge next year as head coach Kevin Laidman is stepping down after three seasons at the helm.
“Kevin has been a valued contributor to Vikes Athletics as a coach, a player and an ambassador,” said Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. “His leadership has been instrumental in the building of a solid core that includes athletes representing the Vikes at the national level and we appreciate all Kevin has done for our program.”
A former player with the Vikes from 2006-10, Laidman took over from Michael Lee in August, 2013 after serving as Lee’s assistant coach in 2012-13. As a player, he competed at multiple national championships with Team BC and played at the elite level with the Victoria Selects. The 30-year-old earned his first international cap with the men’s senior national team in 2011.
“It has been a pleasure and honour to have both played and coached with the Vikes for the past 10 years,” said Laidman. “Coaching the Vikes has been a very rewarding experience as I had the opportunity to develop the next generation of elite field hockey players.”
Under Laidman’s leadership, a number of promising young athletes were recruited to play for the Vikes, including junior national team standouts Amardeep Sidhu, Josh Brown and Harbir Sidhu. Harbir, who will compete for Canada at the Junior Pan Am Games in May alongside Amardeep, committed to the Vikes after winning silver with Canada at the 2015 Youth Olympics in Beijing.
Laidman and the Vikes put up a number of impressive performances during his time as head coach, most notably a 3-2 victory over UBC in January. The Vikes, who hadn’t beaten the Thunderbirds in 10 years of premiership hockey, got a late goal from rookie forward Christopher Lee—the first of his university career—to complete the upset.
“I have worked to grow our squad over the past three seasons and the trend is continuing,” said Laidman. “Our team is getting more competitive and the future is looking bright. I am sad to leave the program at this time, but I am excited for the future of the team.”
The search for the next head coach of the Vikes Men’s Field Hockey program will begin immediately. Interested candidates should contact James Keogh, Manager of Athletics, at email@example.com, or 250-721-8411. A full job description can be found below.
Photo Credit: APShutter.com (Armando Tura)
Story by David Conlin, Vikes Communications
Men’s League Jamboree Schedule
Sunday, March 20, 2016
All Games at UVIC – Field 1
Come for the Curry and cheer the teams on!
9:30 am to 10:00 am – Tigers vs Rebels
10:00 am to 10:30 am – Mutineers/Marauders vs Oak Bay
10:30 am to 11:00 am – Hawks vs Tigers
11:00 am to 11:30 am – Rebels vs Oak Bay
11:30 am to 12:00 pm – Mutineers/Marauders vs Hawksn
12:00 pm to 12:30 pm – Break
12:30 pm to 1:00 pm – Oak Bay vs Tigers
1:00 pm to 1:30 pm – Rebels vs Mutineers/Marauders
1:30 pm to 2:00 pm – Oak Bay vs Hawks
2:00 pm to 2:30 pm – Tigers vs Mutineers/Marauders
2:30 pm to 3:00 pm – Rebels vs Hawks
A Community Umpire Training Session will be taking place on March 8 and 10th in Duncan, B.C. Led by Alison Sweeten, this is a great opportunity for people to not only familiarize themselves with the current rules but also received the basic understanding of umpiring field hockey. Whether you are an aspiring umpire or just a player wanting to better understand the rules and game – this is a great session to attend!
DATE: March 8 & 10, 2016
TIME: 6-8:30 pm
COST: $60 (FHBC Members), $80 (Non-FHBC Members)
ONLINE REGISTRATION: https://www.fieldhockeybc.ca/fhbc/courses.php
If you would like to attend the course in Duncan and need a ride from Victoria, please contact Alison Sweeten at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This is the ONLY Community-Level course being offered on Vancouver Island this Spring.