Brushing up with the best: Pro field hockey athletes lead players clinic

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Brushing up with the best: Pro field hockey athletes lead players clinic

Young field hockey players on Prince Edward Island were given a chance to brush up with some of the best in sport at a players clinic at the University of P.E.I.

Katie Baker, the former captain of the Canadian field hockey team, hosted the clinic with the help of her friends and former teammates, Sam Smith, Leigh Sandison, Tyla Flexman, Thea Culley and Marian Dickinson.

"This is the first time that this many international field hockey players have been on P.E.I. at the same time. So, thought we'd take advantage of it," said Baker.

About 50 young players — almost all of them girls — got together at the clinic to learn from the pro athletes.

Some of the attendees, like Sarah Handel, 20 — a student at Saint Mary's University in Halifax — travelled from off the Island to attend the clinic.

"[I'm] always going to take an opportunity to learn from people who have played on the national team and kind of get the highest level that you can in this sport — people I definitely look up to," said Handel.

"We're just here to kind of share our love of the game as well as provide as much coaching as we possibly can while we're on the Island," said Thea Culley, a former member of the women's national field hockey team.

The pro players are on the Island to do more than just support young players — Katie Baker is getting married this weekend. She's happy to be running the clinic the day before her wedding.

"I'm really excited. I'm happy to see such an amazing turn out. There's a lot of coaches who have also come out to learn some things.... Having all of my best friends on Prince Edward Island, and seeing where I come from, and then getting to share field hockey knowledge, it's really a dream come true," said Baker.

"We would encourage more players to come out and play field hockey. It's a wonderful sport. It's great teamwork, it's fast, it's high paced, it involves a lot of skill, and it's just all-around fun. So, find your local club, your high school that plays, and get out there and have fun," said Culley.

The clinic is a Field Hockey Canada sanctioned event. All proceeds are going to KidSport P.E.I.

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