Junior Women’s field hockey team finally able to leave South Africa
Duncan field hockey player Jenna Goodman. Photograph by Heather Goodman.
The Canadian Junior Women’s national field hockey team will soon be able to leave South Africa.
Jamie Goodman, the father of team member Jenna Goodman from Duncan, says a flight out of the country on December 8 has been arranged by Field Hockey Canada.
However, he says the organization is trying to arrange an earlier departure date, if possible.
Following the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern, the Junior World Cup, scheduled to begin on December 5, had to be canceled.
Several countries, including Canada, moved swiftly to ban flights from South Africa and neighboring countries, and the Canadian government implemented enhanced border measures for people arriving from that region.
Jenna Goodman and her teammates found themselves stranded at North-West University in Potchefstroom.
Her father says the family has been keeping in touch with her via FaceTime.
He says Jenna and her teammates remain isolated in a strict team bubble and have been training to keep their minds off the situation.
Field Hockey Canada CEO Susan Ahrens says the health, safety, and well-being of the athletes and staff was their top priority.
She says everyone is healthy and safe and trying to make the best out of a challenging situation.
Ahrens says the organization has been in constant contact with athletes, staff, and parents throughout the ordeal.