News and Announcements
Victoria junior player facing uphill medical battle; fundraiser aims to help family
The Victoria Junior Field Hockey Association is looking for our community’s support in helping one of our own.
EIght-year-old Oliver Conway is a member of the U8 Boys program this year, but had to stop playing after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour on May 2, 2023.
According to a fundraiser page set up last week, while the initial tumour was removed successfully, further testing found it had metastisized to another part of Oliver’s brain. He will undergo up to six months of chemotherapy at BC Children’s Hospital and six weeks of radiation therapy in Seattle.
Oliver and his family: mom Hailee, dad Evan and little brother Alex, are in the fight of their lives and could use the community’s support to cover the costs of travel and other related expenses to care for and be with their two boys.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the campaign had brought in nearly $36,000 of the $100,000 goal. Interested parties can find more information and donation details at https://www.gofundme.com/f/oliver-conways-journey .
MVPL coming to Victoria May 13
The Metro Vancouver Pro League (MVPL) is coming to Victoria on Saturday, May 13 and this is one of the rare occasions that Vancouver Island will entertain Canada’s best men’s players including several from the Canadian national team and Olympians. You may even see some of these players at Victoria Junior League sessions that weekend!
The four-team semifinal action will take place at the University of Victoria with games at 3:00 pm (2nd vs 3rd place) and 4:30 pm (1st vs 4th place). Along with the games, there are opportunities for youth to take place in the opening walkouts or as ball kids and opportunities for the community to learn from international officials including technical officials and umpires.
The MVPL was formed in 2022 and this is the second instalment of the high-performance field hockey league that focuses on diversity, inclusion, sportsmanship, integrity and respect for the game. Each of the four teams are named after key contributors to the sport of field hockey and the player draft balances the senior and junior talent for balanced but competitive competition. This is the highest-level men’s field hockey that can be played in Canada.
Interested in taking part? Here are the details:
COME WATCH – Saturday, May 13, 2023
• 3:00 pm – Game 1 (2nd vs 3rd Place)
• 4:30 pm – Game 2 (1st vs 4th Place)
Admission is free and seating is first come first serve. The pace of the game is high and so is the ball speed. Please ensure children are supervised and are paying attention if near the sidelines.
Youth participation – walk out buddies (U8 and U6) and ball kids (U14-U18)
• Please contact Ali Baggott: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Must be available 2:45-3:15pm for Game 1 and/or 4:15-4:45pm for Game 1.
• Walk out buddies are only needed for the beginning of each game
• Ball kids are needed 10 min before the game and throughout the game time(s)
Interested in learning about Technical Official roles or want to support on game day?
• Please contact Brenda Rushton: email@example.com
Umpire Development Workshop
• Please register online (free): https://forms.gle/pQSFivPohxwbSMGB9
• Register by May 10, 2023.
• This session runs 2-6:30pm and will be facilitated by Alan Waterman (Olympic umpire, FIH Umpire Manager) and will include Q&As with current international umpires Lelia Sacre, Tyler Klenk, Meghan McLennan and Megan Robertson.
Check out the MVPL online:
Feature photo: Harbir Sidhu (Canadian men’s national team player, former UVic Vikes player from Victoria, B.C.).
Photo Credit: Chris Bulowski
Tigers take title, hold off Vikes in tight VIFHA final
No penalty shootout was required this time, but the Tigers needed all hands on deck defensively to repeat as Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association champions Sunday on the UVic turf.
The runaway regular season champions held off a determined fourth-quarter charge from the UVic Vikes and won a nailbiter 3-2.
After the game was scoreless through one half, Tigers opened up a 3-0 lead by the end of the third quarter. Josh Brown scored first off a broken penalty corner play, Javier Virk made it 2-0 by drilling a shot to the far post, and Hamraj Sidhu scored the eventual winner on an open tap-in.
But the Vikes weren’t about to give up.
Having struggled to get enough players out in recent weeks, the student squad had a full complement out Sunday to face the vaunted Tigers. After the Vikes’ Grant Simpson scored to cut the margin to two goals with just over six minutes to play, teammate Finley O’Callaghan made it a one-goal game by beating Tigers’ keeper Tom Pennells with a reverse-stick goal a minute or so later.
Despite the late charge, time was not on Vikes’ side, as Tigers tightened up on D and absorbed two yellow cards late to preserve the victory.
The competitive final followed the season-ending recreational division seven-a-side jamboree, during which the three teams split into four sides to play three half-field games.
Visit the Vancouver Island Men’s Field Hockey — VIFHA on Facebook for more photos from the competitive final.
— Photo by Jim Knight
Heroic Vikes outlast tenacious Rebels to earn spot in VIFHA title game
Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association competitive division playoff action began with a bang Sunday on the turf at UVic, as the second-place Rebels took on the Vikes in one of two semifinals.
Despite being down a man from the start and often being put back on their heels by a tenacious Rebels attack, the Vikes scored first and hung on to win 2-1 to advance to the March 26 championship final.
With the teams tied 1-1 at the half, the winning goal came midway through the third quarter, when Finley O’Callaghan ripped a crushing back stick shot from the top of the D that found the top corner behind Rebels goalie Felix Randall. From there the Vikes were in prevent mode and staved off several good scoring chances by the Rebels.
Working to break free in the Vikes D late in the fourth quarter, Rebels midfielder Sawyer Ross got a shot off that appeared labelled for the lower right corner. But Vikes keeper Colbey Geber was equal to the task and flashed out his right pad to steer the shot away.
The last best chance for the Rebels came on the game’s final play, a short corner penalty. With a multitude of red shirts gathered in anticipation at the top of the D, the Vikes were able to withstand the assault and preserve the win.
Caelan Ostrosser for Vikes and Rebels Ben Wheatley traded first-half goals.
In the first vs. fourth place game, the defending champion Tigers were held largely in check by the re-formed Mutineers in the first quarter, but came to life in the second. They tallied twice to take a 2-0 lead into halftime, made it 3-0 shortly into the third quarter and rolled to a 6-0 victory.
T.J. Parhar and Javier Virk scored twice for the winners, while singles came from Shawn Kalar and Parm Sahota.
Next Sunday’s title game at 12:10 p.m. follows the final rec division jamboree day of the season, which starts at 10:30 a.m.
The other game played March 19 saw the Rebels 2 defeat Marauders 5-0.
Find a full selection of photos on the Vancouver Island Men’s Field Hockey – VIFHA page on Facebook.
Combo squad collects first comp division win
The first go-round for the combined Mutineers-Vikes team proved successful Sunday as the squad posted a 3-2 win over Rebels 1 in Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association competitive division play at UVic.
Thrown together to cover off player shortages for both sides for the final three games of the regular season, the team had the benefit of a few reserves to spell off teammates pushed all game by a spirited Rebels side on the day.
Vikes Finlay O’Callaghan and Grant Simpson scored once each in the win, while Mutineer Stuart Wylie added the other goal. Gavin O’Halloran, a factor on the attack all game, tallied twice for the Rebels.
In the opening game of the day, Hawks gained momentum in the second half with a couple of soft goals and rolled to an 8-1 recreational division win over Marauders. Gursharan Kalar and Amit Dillon scored a pair of goals each for the winners, while Gurcharn Athwal, Rajiv Dillon, Bobby Virk and Amar Bajwa added singles.
Kirn Khaira bagged the lone goal for Marauders.
The league continues its march toward the playoffs next Sunday (March 12), when Hawks take on Rebels 2 in rec play at 10:30 a.m., followed at noon by Tigers vs. Mutineers/Vikes.