Mississauga, Hamilton and Burlington field hockey players book flights home from South Africa

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Published December 1, 2021 at 10:03 am

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The Canadian junior women’s field hockey team, which includes players from Mississauga, Hamilton and Burlington, has booked flights home from South Africa after being stranded there for several days amid growing global concerns over the newest COVID-19 variant. 

Mississauga’s Danielle Husar, Hamilton’s Madison Workman, Burlington’s Mackenzie Williams and their teammates and coaches will take flights home from Johannesburg on Dec. 8, Field Hockey Canada said in its latest online statement. 

“As of now, that’s the information we have, (knowing) things can change in either direction very quickly,” the statement reads. 

The team will remain at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa as they await the scheduled flights home.  

Jenna Berger and Grace Leahy, both of Waterloo, are the two other Ontario members of the 20-player squad that was in Potchefstroom preparing to compete at the Junior World Cup, which was scheduled to take place Dec. 5-17 before being postponed.  

Last week’s discovery in South Africa of the newest variant of the coronavirus, dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization, had left the team scrambling to make arrangements to get home.  

Making matters more difficult is that Canada (and a host of other countries) has imposed restrictions on travel from South Africa and nine other African countries. 

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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