Now that the Americas Cup is over, it’s time to focus on next year’s World Championships in Hamburg, Germany for the Canadian women’s team.
Team Canada were victorious in the women’s competition becoming Americas Cup champions and reclaiming their place as the best women’s team within the Americas zone.
IWBF junior writer Dylan Cummings spoke with Canada women’s senior player Arinn Young about her experience at the Americas Cup.
Arinn, who is nicknamed “Juice” due to her love of drinking juice boxes during games, had played running basketball from age five until she suffered a ligament injury in her knee at 14 years old. She was first introduced to wheelchair basketball five years ago and quickly progressed into the Canada women’s U25 team in 2013, and was called up to the senior team just a year later; since then she has become one of the principal players on the team.
The Canadian squad has undergone some changes since Rio, and Arinn explained how the team acclimatised to these changes, saying,
“I think we’ve adapted in a positive way. Instead of setting us back, it pushed us forward. The new coaching staff have a very positive outlook for our road to Tokyo 2020 and are always encouraging us to dig deep.They reignited the fire by making sure the squad was pushed hard all through the summer so that they had the best preparation heading into the Americas Cup.”
The 21-year-old from Legal, Alberta said that the team went into the tournament not knowing what to expect in terms of the whole experience, however Arinn and the team had lots of fun experiencing the Columbian culture.
“I think we surprised a lot of teams that watched us play because I don’t think they expected us to do well following our performance in Rio. I feel that after Rio other teams might have underestimated Team Canada and what we can do as a unit.”
“Canada’s back, we’re ready to go.”
Arinn, who is a student at the University of Alabama in the USA, also talked about the increase of competition throughout the Americas zones.
“It’s 100% developing within the zone. Although Canada’s games may have looked like easy games the team trained hard over the summer to make the games seem as easy as possible. Every game was a physical and mental grind to get through. We had to be disciplined and focused in training and at the competition so that we could execute what we needed to do to become champions.”
The next step for Arinn personally, is to focus on excelling in her studies at Alabama whilst also helping the university team retain their NWBA national title.
The next step for Team Canada and Arinn, is to now concentrate on preparing for the World Championships next year, with their target being gold.
“We will be wearing our Canadian pride on our sleeves. We’re a passionate team and no-one should underestimate us by second guessing playing against us, other teams should be on edge.”
She finished off by saying, “We’re hungry for the gold.”
Written by IWBF junior writer, Dylan Cummings. You can follow Dylan on twitter @DylanOnWheels
Image courtesy of Wheelchair Basketball Canada