Mississauga, Hamilton and Burlington field hockey players and teammates back home in Canada
Published December 9, 2021 at 4:46 pm
After being stranded for nearly two weeks in South Africa amid global concerns over the latest COVID-19 variant, Mississauga’s Danielle Husar, Hamilton’s Madison Workman, Burlington’s Mackenzie Williams and their Canadian junior women’s field hockey teammates and coaches are now back home in Canada.
Field Hockey Canada communications manager Kevin Underhill said in an email to insauga.com that the team arrived this afternoon on flights at Pearson Airport in Mississauga and Calgary Airport.
The 20-player squad and five staff members left Johannesburg yesterday on flights to Frankfurt, Germany, where they boarded connecting flights back to Canada.
Underhill said all players and staff tested negative for the virus in South Africa before boarding their flight to Germany, and they’re now in quarantine at airport area hotels here, per Canadian government COVID-19 travel rules, until testing negative yet again.
“They will then proceed to an approved home-quarantine environment for the remainder of the 14-day period,” said Underhill.
“We’d like to thank the governmental support, our staff, media, parents and community who have rallied together in what has been a challenging time towards this successful outcome,” Underhill added in his email. “We are looking forward to having our junior national team back on home soil.”
The players, coaches and staff were stranded in South Africa for nearly two weeks since news of the Omicron variant of the virus prompted Canada and countries around the world to restrict air travel from 10 African nations, including South Africa.
Thanks to a time-limited exemption for Canadian travellers announced last weekend by the federal government, the Canadian team was allowed to get negative COVID-19 tests done in South Africa instead of in a third country in transit.
While in South Africa, where they were supposed to compete at the Junior World Cup, which was postponed, the Canadians stayed at North-West University in Potchefstroom, a town about 120 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg.
Canada was slated to begin tournament play against Uruguay, England and Belgium after earning a first-ever gold medal in August at the Junior Pan American Championships in Chile.
Husar, a forward with the Canadian team, plays midfield for the University of Virginia Cavaliers squad when she’s not playing for her country. The Lorne Park Secondary School graduate is a veteran of international play, having won bronze in Dublin, Ireland in 2019 with Canada’s under-21 team at the 4 Nations Tournament.
Workman is a defender on the Canadian team and also plays on her NCAA squad at Miami University in Ohio. The Hamilton native is a grad of Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton, where she was team MVP in 2015 and 2017.
Williams, a graduate of Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School in Burlington, is also a defender on the Canadian squad. She attends Virginia Commonwealth University and started all 10 games for her university field hockey team this season.
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