Saanich field hockey athlete heads to China for Youth Olympics

Mount Douglas secondary student Harbir Sidhu takes part in new five-on-five field hockey at Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China

Sharp striker Harbir Sidhu is representing Saanich with Team Canada's national junior field hockey team at the Youth Olympics in China this month.

Sharp striker Harbir Sidhu is representing Saanich with Team Canada's national junior field hockey team at the Youth Olympics in China this month.

Harbir Sidhu is half a world away at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, this week, and the promising national team field hockey player is playing a half-sized version of the game.

The Youth Olympics is using the newly popularized five-versus-five format of field hockey. If anyone stands to benefit from the game, it’s Canadians, who have their own versions of five on five ball hockey and are used to the fast-paced style and open spaces the five-aside format brings.

Fives, as it’s known, runs with three 15-minute periods, three quarters the length of the traditional 60-minute game. Players take shifts, just like in ball hockey or ice hockey.

Sidhu’s job is to score. It’s something he’s good at.

“I love to score and to set plays up so I really enjoy the five-versus-five version,” said Sidhu, a Mount Douglas secondary student. “The field’s only about one third smaller than the usual field, but with five players instead of 11, it opens up a lot of space to move the ball around.”

This year was Sidhu’s first as a regular starter on the Victoria Select men’s team in the long running premier division of the Vancouver Field Hockey League. Despite it being a tough season for the Selects with just two wins in 16 games, it was monumental for Sidhu, who grew up  practising on the sidelines while watching uncles and cousins play for the Selects.

“Sidhu has the potential to be a really, really good player,” said Kevin Laidman, head coach of the UVic Vikes men’s team. Sidhu and Claremont’s Michael Brown are the only high schoolers who practised regularly with the Vikes this past season.

“He already stands out at our UVic practices. He’s smaller than the university-age guys, but you can see he stands out as a star already. Whether he’ll be that good for Canada, it’s hard to say,” Laidman said.

Sidhu enjoyed his 17th birthday on Aug. 14, the team’s first day of training in Nanjing. With only nine players representing Team Canada, spots were at a premium for the Youth Olympics.

Sidhu spent the better part of the summer at the University of British Columbia where he’s part of a small group of Victoria players, with cousin Amardeep Sidhu (Mount Douglas) and Brown (Claremont), who train regularly with the national junior program.

Sidhu wasn’t included in Canada’s junior team that qualified for Nanjing at the Pan American tournament earlier this year, but made it onto the Youth Olympic team.

“I had to work hard to get included for China,” Sidhu said.

“Sidhu is very humble, he’s willing to learn, and given his age he’s pretty impressive,” Laidman added.

The Canadian junior field hockey team competes in the Nanjing Youth Olympics from Aug. 17 to 27. Nanjing is the second Youth Olympics.

Victoria Royals’ defenceman Joe Hicketts captained the Canadian ice hockey team at the Youth Winter Olympics in 2012.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

West Shore RCMP K9 Halla. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sound of RCMP dog enough to stop suspects in Oak Bay

West Shore RCMP K9 unit called in, didn’t get to chase

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Most Read