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Ms. Hall and Ms. Hughes at the National Masters Soccer Tournament

Ms Hall and Ms Hughes
Recently, two members of our PHE staff played in the Canadian Masters soccer tournament and had the opportunity to represent BC!

Ms. Hall and Ms. Hughes are both part of the Castaways FC soccer team, which placed 4th in the national tournament.

“When I learned that we would be representing BC, I was thrilled!” shared Ms. Hughes. “I grew up representing BC for both soccer and field hockey and it is pretty exciting for me to get this opportunity as an adult.”

Their team had to go through a series of games in order to qualify and compete for the provincial title.

“In May, we won the Masters Provincial Cup in shootouts and it was definitely a moment to remember. This was the first time that any over 30s women’s team from the island has gone to represent BC,” said Ms. Hall. “The lower mainland is so strong and so we have lost many times over the years in that same final.”

The competition, travelling and team spirit made the overall experience extremely memorable for the two teachers.

“We didn’t know what to expect going into the tournament and were impressed with the calibre of play,” said Ms. Hall.

Both teachers were proud to say that they and their team played at their best and were able to withstand the pressure and challenges of competing at a high level. Supporters, including parents, siblings, partners and babies, travelled to Saskatoon to encourage the team. They made signs, wore the team colours and cheered the team on during every game.

Ms. Hall started playing soccer at the age of 12 and Ms. Hughes had been playing for her whole life. Neither can deny the fact that soccer has always been an important part of their lives.

“Before [becoming invested in soccer], I was a dancer but once I discovered the physicality of soccer, there was no turning back,” said Ms. Hall. “I played in high school and university, but then was burnt out and quit for a while. I returned to the sport at the age of 28 when I moved back to Victoria and joined the Castaways FC.”

“[Soccer] was where I met my husband, Anton Bucher, who coaches soccer at GNS,” said Ms. Hughes. After stopping for a few years to deal with some knee injuries and to focus on field hockey, Ms. Hughes returned to soccer after Ms. Hall invited her to join the team.

As always, from the kindness of their hearts, the teachers decided to offer some advice to students who are aiming to become high-level athletes.

“Cross-training is super important!” advised Ms. Hughes. “Don’t just focus on one sport from a young age. Try different things. It is super important in your development as an athlete.”

“I would say to make sure that you make room for other things in your life when you can,” added Ms. Hall. “It can be tempting to feel like you need to spend every waking moment playing soccer, but you will be a better player if you can train your body in a variety of ways.”