“With the amount of travel for competitions, it’s not always easy to get to share those experiences with the people who support me. For me, the Invitational is a great opportunity to pass on my knowledge to the next generation of rugby players."
Trevor Hirschfield has travelled the world with wheelchair rugby, but there is no place like home. The Canadian captain is getting ready for a rare opportunity to play in front of family and friends at this year’s Vancouver Invitational - staged at Richmond Olympic Oval, Vancouver, from 8-10 March.
The Invitational has become a leading venue for wheelchair rugby events, having hosted the 2010 World Championship and four Canada Cups.
Now in its 20th year, the event is the longest-running Canadian wheelchair rugby tournament outside of the national championships. It is open to all teams to take part. This year sees a mix of club teams from Canada and USA, as well as the German national team.
Inspiring the next generation
For Hirschfield, he has not slowed down since Canada’s disappointing sixth place at the 2018 World Championship in Sydney, Australia. He has gone to club tournaments, an event with the national team in Prague, a training camp in Montreal and back-to-back tournaments in the USA.
“With the amount of travel for competitions, it’s not always easy to get to share those experiences with the people who support me,” Hirschfield said.
“For me, the Invitational is a great opportunity to pass on my knowledge to the next generation of rugby players.
“I know the Invitational had a big impact on me as an athlete early in my career, getting to play with national team athletes and learn from them.
“The rugby community in Canada is relatively small and most of the athletes are known.
“The odd time we will have people come out to watch who may be interested in trying the sport or getting more information about it.”
All of Hirschfield's Canadian teammates will take part in the tournament with their respective clubs. National team selection has been tied to the Invitational for many years, taking place either right before or right after.
Hirschfield will contest the event with his provincial team, British Columbia (BC).
“For the most part BC, Quebec and Ontario have had some pretty good rivalries in the past,” Hirschfield added.
After Vancouver, it will be back to travelling, as the national team will be in Denmark in early April for a training camp and matches.