Women’s rugby is creating a lot of deserved attention around its debut at this year’s 2015 Pan Am games in Toronto. The inclusion of women’s sevens rugby is a victory for female rugby players, who have been fighting to legitimize the sport in both inter-university and professional sporting competitions.
Team Canada’s Chef de Mission, Curt Harnett, has said that “For the first time ever in Pan Am history, we are able to field a women’s rugby sevens team and I can’t be more proud”. He offers the athletes his “congratulations on being named to the team and again for making history.”
The golf competition stands to be a crowd favourite, with several talented athletes representing Canada: 17-year-old Brooke Henderson, a former amateur world number one; Lorie Kane, four-time Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour winner; and representing the men, Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Champion, Garrett Rank; and eighteen-year-old Austin Connelly, currently ranked tenth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
The significance of golf’s debut was remarked upon by Minister of State (Sport), The Honourable Bal Gosal, “Canada has a long tradition of excellence in golf, and we are very proud of the team that has been selected to represent our country as this sport makes its Pan Am games debut this summer.”
Women’s baseball teams from across the Pan American region will take to the diamond for the first time ever as part of a multi-sport competition this year at the Pan Am Games. Canada’s women’s team — including Ontario’s Kate Psota and Ashley Stephenson — will make their debut on July 20 when they take on Cuba. Canada is currently ranked fourth in the world, and with Cuba only four spots behind, the opening game should prove to be exciting.
The canoe-slalom competitions are also making their debut this summer. Fifteen athletes were chosen to represent Canada, at the games, and will compete in three different events at the Wild Water Preserve in Minden.