Elmira field hockey player on national team heading to Netherlands

Last updated on May 18, 23

Posted on May 18, 23

2 min read

An Elmira field hockey player is continuing her upward rise in the sport after being named to represent Canada for the first time.

Fifteen-year-old Jordyn MacDonald, who last year was selected to be a part of Field Hockey Canada’s Next Gen program with the aim of her being part of the 2028 Olympic team, is heading to the Netherlands for the Den Bosch International Tournament. Canada’s U16 team will play in the tournament May 27-29.

The event, hosted by the Holland Elite Sports agency, is a multisport youth tournament bringing together athletes in soccer, rugby, basketball and field hockey. It will see a mix of regional club teams and national teams compete. For MacDonald it is a great opportunity to get a taste of international play.

“The Netherlands, at least in the women’s side, is ranked number-one overall, so pretty big competition. I’ve compared it to ice hockey where [Canada is] ranked very high,” MacDonald said.

Although the level of competition will be high, it will be a great learning experience for MacDonald and her teammates, her mother Tracey said.

“Because most of these girls, it’s their first time making this level, it’s a good tournament to enter ... just to get that international experience,” she said.

“It’ll be good to see the level of play in the Netherlands. Not only that, the facilities there are phenomenal – they have some of the best field hockey fields anywhere. It’s going to be interesting to see how field hockey is there,” Tracey added.

It will also be an opportunity to play more with her teammates, most of whom are from BC, and to learn more from head coach Kyle Marks.

“A lot of it, for this age, [it’s] learning, getting used to a faster pace and changing how you play on the fly,” said MacDonald. “So a lot of learning definitely happening,” she said.

Elmira’s Jordyn MacDonald is heading to Holland as part of Canada’s U16 field hockey team. Bill Atwood

The tournament is the latest step for MacDonald, who is either practicing or playing the sport almost year round. That includes once weekly indoor practices in the GTA during the winter and twice a week outdoor practices there since last month. Her club season for the Guelph Cobras recently got underway.

“It’s a lot, but it’s what you have to put in to get to the next level, so I’m willing to do it, for sure,” she said.

“It is a big commitment. We’re getting used to the travel. But to be able to have an opportunity like that it’s been well worth it,” Tracey said.

MacDonald says she’s got a lot of feelings about representing her country for the first time.

“For a lot of athletes it’s like a goal or dream type thing. Definitely sometimes where it’s pressure, but I think then it’s very worth it.”

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Bill Atwood

Bill Atwood is a full-time journalist / photographer at The Observer.

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