Sara McManus and the Women’s National Team are hosting a camp at Winskill Park ahead of this summer’s World Cup and Commonwealth Games in Europe
Sara McManus will be back on her home turf later this month as she prepares to add at least two more chapters this summer to her decorated international field hockey career.
The 28-year-old Tsawwassen defenseman and her Canadian teammates will host a camp May 29 at Winskill Park.
For $25, U11 to U18 players will be able to learn skills and tips from the best players in the country. Proceeds from the camp will help Canada’s spending to attend the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands, July 1-7. The team will then travel to Birmingham, England, for the Commonwealth Games, starting July 28.
“We went out and did a practice last year around this time and the kids were just awesome,” McManus said. “We have now started these camps in the Lower Mainland. We had one in West Van last week and another coming in Vancouver as well.
“It’s just a great way to connect with the communities we grew up in and where we come from. We can have fun with the kids and then it’s a bit of a fundraiser for us too, as we try to lower our World Cup levy.
Having made her national team debut at just 18, the South Delta Secondary graduate ranks fifth all-time for Canada with 187 international caps. His standout run could very well have ended almost 30 months ago when Canada lost a heartbreaking 2020 Olympic qualifying streak to Ireland.
Trying to reach the Summer Games for the first time since 1992, Canada took on Ireland to a pair of scoreless draws in Dublin. The series ended in a penalty shootout and Canada was one goal or one stoppage away from advancing, but Ireland prevailed 4-3.
McManus was notable for anchoring the Canadian defense to a pair of shutouts and even scored in shootouts. It seems like the right time to give up her playing career and put her UBC degree to good use, as many of her longtime teammates have done.
The pandemic would soon put everything on hold anyway. McManus returned to training, then learned that three World Cup berths would be on the line at the 2021 Pan American Championships. Canada had not qualified for the World Cup since 1992.
“It’s usually just like, the top one or two teams going so I was like, okay, it could happen and it was like a year and I can do it for another year,” McManus said. “I really wanted to be there for the team and help them achieve this goal.”
Canada won 1-0 against the United States in the bronze medal game. Since that big win in Chile last year, the national team has been based in Vancouver for training. Needing flexible employment, McManus worked at the Prado Cafe in the new Southlands community in Boundary Bay before being moved to their Fraser Street location to facilitate commuting to the practice in West Van.
It will be later this year when she decides whether her career will extend beyond the summer and compete in another run at the Olympics two years from now in Paris.
“Right now I’m so excited for this summer with the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. I’ll probably end up making a decision later. But you know, the Olympics was always the goal and it’s hard to pass that up,” she added.
Registration for the national camp can be done on the Falcons website.