Field Hockey Canada Press Release
April 24, 2007
OTTAWA, ON, April 23, 2007– The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has awarded Victoria, BC a Women’s Qualifying Tournament for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The tournament will be held at the University of Victoria April 26–May 4, 2008.
The tournament will see the Canadian Women’s Field Hockey team vying with five other nations for a single berth in Beijing. The tournament will consist of round-robin competition. The top two finishers will then meet for a final match on Sunday, May 4, with the winner advancing to the Summer Olympics.
The five teams joining Canada in Victoria will be announced by the FIH this October.
Two similar tournaments will be taking place in April 2008, one in Baku (Azerbaijan), the other in Kazan (Russia), to determine the final complement of teams for the Olympics .
Eight nations will receive direct entry to Beijing through direct continental competition along with China as host nation. The Olympic Competition will consist of a total of 12 teams.
Field Hockey Canada is looking forward to working with The University of Victoria and PacificSport to present a world class event. Holding this tournament at The University of Victoria recognizes the investment the university has made in its own hockey program, as well as the links it continues to forge with Field Hockey BC and the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association. The new hockey turf, installed last summer, easily passed a recent inspection by the FIH over a week ago. "In fact, the site visit concluded with a resounding endorsement of Victoria as host city" noted Cheryl Taunton, Chair of the host Organizing Committee.
"UVic is delighted to be a partner in this important international event," says Clint Hamilton, The University of Victoria’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. "We’re proud of the strong tradition of our Vikes field hockey program and our new state of the art field hockey turf. We see this tournament as a tremendous opportunity to further our ongoing partnership with the field hockey community."
All partners in the event view the tournament as a means to strengthen their relationships and to create an infrastructure which will encourage the FIH to return to Canada and Victoria with further elite championships.
Although currently ranked 19th in the World, the showing of the Canadian Women’s Team in recent competitions will see the team seek to improve in its placing with upcoming competitions, including the Pan American Games.
Media contact: Brian Groos, Communications, Field Hockey British Columbia: 250-592-9887
Field Hockey Canada web site.