Back row, from left: Kaylan Madeira, Marlaina Gumpert, Jupneet Dhaliwal , Harina Dhaliwal, Missy Vesper, Myla McIntyre, Sara Harker. Front row, from left: Leah Reigling, Myah Antler, Kaydence Harker, Hannah Shore, Gurneet Sidhu. Missing: Naomi Antler & Hailey Smith. Photo submitted.

Newly formed SESS girls’ field hockey team looking for players

The girls played their first game against Princess Margaret students on Oct. 3

The students of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School (SESS) made school history on Oct. 3 when they participated in their first ever field hockey game at Princess Margaret Secondary School.

Coaches Sara Harker and Kaylan Madeira, whom both played the sport throughout high school and then competed provincially and nationally, said 11 high school girls from SESS took to the field. After two intense 30-minute halves, the game ended with a 0-0 tie.

“Field hockey in the Okanagan/Similkameen is a sport that is typically introduced at the grade 8 level,” said Madeira in a release.”(We, the coaches,) knew that it could create a challenge to get girls out and to expose them to a sport that is virtually unknown in this area. The hope was that the girls would enjoy field hockey enough to stick with it to form the first-ever SESS Field Hockey Team.”

According to Madeira, the last weekend of September SOSS (Southern Okanagan Secondary School) hosted a mini tournament which exposed the SESS girls to gameplay for the first time after only four practices.

Despite the game ending scoreless, Madeira said she and Harker “could not have been more proud of these girls who have incredible heart and drive” and that they did not back down for one moment during the game.

Thanks to the help of the SOSS coaches, the SESS students are able to borrow field hockey sticks, balls, and goalie equipment for the season. Harker and Madeira intend to fundraise in order to purchase field hockey equipment and proper jerseys for the new team.

“We hope that we can expose more girls to field hockey and encourage any grade 8-12 girls who may be interested to pop in during one of the practices after school either Monday’s or Wednesday’s and join in or watch,” said Madeira in the release. “The field hockey season is short and it is not too late to join. The season only goes until the end of the month so we do hope to see more girls wanting to play.”

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