WROCLAW, POLAND (July 27, 2017) – It’s a sport you’ve likely never heard of, but Canada is among the world’s best in canoe polo. In fact, the Canadian National Women’s Canoe Polo Team is in Wroclaw, Poland this week to compete for the first time in the World Games. The eight-woman roster is up against seven other national teams in a battle for one of the sport’s most prestigious titles.
Canoe polo is a full-contact sport where teams of five paddlers (with three reserves) attempt to score a ball into the opponent’s goal, which is suspended above the water, while paddling in specially-made canoes. Players can pass to each other and shoot on goal by either throwing the ball or flicking it with their paddles.
Canoe polo has been played in Canada for decades, supported by a small, but passionate community. Canada qualified for the World Games by finishing 8th at the 2016 Canoe Polo World Championships in Syracuse, Italy.
“This is the most competitive team we’ve ever sent to an International Canoe Polo event,” said James Petryk, Team Canada Manager. “We’re not simply happy to be here because we’ve never qualified before – we’re here to win games. I think a lot of teams will be surprised by what’s been put together, and we’re chomping at the bit to prove we belong here.”
Canada faces a tough test in its first match Friday, taking on the defending world champions from New Zealand.
“The World Games are like being at World Championships, but bigger and better, with more countries and more sports,” said Christie Siddle, a member of Team Canada. “It’s the closest our sport gets to the Olympics.”
You can watch coverage of the World Games here and find the full schedule for the canoe polo competition here.
Team Canada Women’s Canoe Polo Roster
Chaz Cheung (Edmonton, AB)
Mary Lukasik (St. Albert, AB)
Athena Hauck (Grande Prairie, AB)
Sarah Kerestes (Grande Prairie, AB)
Kristina O’Brien (Edmonton, AB)
Hannah Patrick (Calahoo, AB)
Kassandra Reaume (Morinville, AB)
Christie Siddle (Calgary, AB)
Coach – Brad Cameron (Grande Prairie, AB)
Coach – Stephen Gale (Radium, BC)
Team Manager – James Petryk (Edmonton, AB)
Team Sport Scientist – Scott Forbes (Penticton, BC)
About Canoe Kayak Canada
Canoe Kayak Canada is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
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High Performance Manager