Canadian field hockey players stranded in South Africa by COVID variant

Nov 29 2021, 8:07 pm

The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus means bad news for a Canadian field hockey team currently in South Africa.

The Canadian national women’s junior team headed overseas with plans to play in the Junior World Cup.

The tournament was set to get underway in Potchefstroom, South Africa, on December 5 and run through December 17 but was cancelled due to rising cases of the Omicron variant.

“The Government of Canada, firstly through Sport Canada and then through Global Affairs, is actively working on our behalf to bring our athletes and staff home,” a team spokesperson wrote to Daily Hive in an email.

To add insult to injury, added travel restrictions into Canada and elsewhere of those who have travelled to South Africa means that the players are currently unsure of what their flight path home will be, saying that they are “waiting for flight arrangements to bring us back home to Canada.”

“The team is deeply saddened by the news released by FIH about the postponement of the Women’s Junior World Cup this December in South Africa,” the team wrote in an Instagram post. “We are thankful for our gracious hosts at North-West University for providing us with amazing facilities, food, and hospitality while we wait!”

Canadian player Danielle Husar took to TikTok to document her frustrations with the incident in a video that has since received over 40,000 likes.

@itsdaniboyyyyYeah… so that’s how my week is going. Anyone got a private jet? #canada♬ WHY IS EVERYONE USING THIS – .

“Thank you so much to each and every person who has supported us in getting here,” the team added.

However, it appears not all is lost on the trip for the team. Despite not having a competition in their immediate future, the team is using the time to keep practicing while they can.

“Although these aren’t the circumstances we were hoping for, [we] are still working hard out here in Potchefstroom while we wait for the opportunity to get home safely to Canada,” a second Instagram post read.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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