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Island athlete in ‘good spirits’ as team remains stranded in South Africa

Canada’s junior national women’s field-hockey team remains stranded in South Africa by travel restrictions imposed following the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern.

The team is unable to fly home because most commercial flights out of South Africa have been cancelled.

The Junior World Cup in South Africa was to be held from December 5-17, but was cancelled and the Canadian team left without a way to get home.

Several of the players are from Vancouver Island, including Duncan’s Jenna Goodman.

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Her father, Jamie, says they have been in touch with her via FaceTime and says Jenna and other team members “are doing better now after getting over the initial disappointment of the postponement of the Junior World Cup tournament,” and she remains in good spirits.

He says they’re isolated in a strict team bubble and are training daily to keep their minds off the situation.

According to Goodman, the team is being well taken care of by the coaching and management staff in South Africa, and the South African Hockey Association and Potchefstroom University.

He says they are also monitoring their mental and physical health.

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Field Hockey Canada is working to bring the team to back to Canada, but flight arrangements have yet to be worked out

Goodman many says both Sport Canada and Global Affairs have confirmed that this is a high priority for them.

While they await word that a flight out of South Africa has been arranged, he says Jenna’s family is doing well and are “very grateful to everyone who is continuing to work on getting them back home.”

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