A Saanich field hockey player is lacing up with the national squad after another strong season with the University of Victoria Vikes.
Rosie Beale, a five-foot-two defender and Claremont secondary grad, was recently named to the senior development team.
She’s among a handful of newcomers who are making their first tour with the women’s national team for Round 2 of the Women’s World League Round 2 this weekend in Dublin, Ireland.
In three years as a Vike, Beale has been named a Canada West 1st Team All-Star, and helped her team win the 2013 Canada West title and finish second in the CIS final, where she was also a CIS Championship All-Star.
“Rosie had an excellent Canada West season for the Vikes, and was awarded a CW all-star,” said Vikes field hockey coach Lynne Beecroft. “She is a player that reads the game well, is an excellent tackler, and distributes the ball extremely well out of the backfield. She has quick feet, and possesses a great variety of technical skills.”
Currently training in Vancouver, it’s Beale’s first crack at the national team program. The senior development squad is reserved for players who are considered close to breaking through to the women’s national team and are continually making progress towards senior international competition.
Beale played soccer as a child and began playing field hockey at around age 10, picking up the new sport quickly.
“When I was really little, everyone wanted to play on the national team,” she said. As an adult, that same excitement is still there. “It’s something I can play for the rest of my life, so it’s nice to know that in my 40s I’ll still be hitting the ball around with friends.”
Beale, who enjoys the team-oriented role of the defensive position, credits the coaches she’s learned from over the years, including UVic’s Beecroft, Andrea Rushton, Krista Thompson and Ali Lee. “The coaches at UVic are amazing. You can go to any of them with questions and they are instantly helping you.”
The women are entering a year of competition during which qualification for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio, Brazil is up for grabs through two qualification pathways, the World League tournament and the Pan American Games, happening in Toronto this summer.
In preparation, the Women’s National Team will take part in many test tournaments throughout the year, for which specific touring rosters will be named (as will be done for World League and the Pan Am Games).
Coming up, Beale is among 18 players selected to play in Ireland. “I’m really excited about that,” she says. While the games will be challenging, Beale says that if the team continues to play the way it has, she looks forward to a series of competitive games.