30 Under 30: Sara McManus, 18
Soccer's loss is field hockey's gain.
That about sums up the story of Tsawwassen's Sara McManus, who at the tender age of 18 has already earned 24 senior caps for Canada's Women's field hockey team.
McManus made the switch from using her feet to picking up a stick to control a ball when she was 10. It was a bit of peer pressure that made her curious about the game which the Delta Falcons club calls "the fastest game on turf."
Some of her friends had joined the Falcons—which has produced many national team members over the years.
And while her athletic nature made her try a number of other sports, McManus soon realized she was developing quicker with field hockey than the rest. And that caught the eye of national team coaches who started to push her up the ladder and into the senior women's team at age 16.
"It was pretty young, especially for me since I am a defender. Usually, there are a lot more experienced players back there," McManus told the South Delta Leader just prior to heading off to New Delhi, India in February to compete in a 2012 Summer Olympic qualifying tournament.
Unfortunately, Canada did not make it through the tough field for a spot in London, but McManus continued to represent Canada's junior team at a Canada-U.S. tournament in early April, and could be part of the squad that will play against Argentina in Buenos Aires at the end of May.
Through it all, McManus said she understands her position as a role model.
"I think the young girls can definitely look up to us and see that it's possible, you know. It's within their reach," she said. "It's probably a bit more motivating when you see people who you know succeed. I know, especially at my old high school, (South Delta Secondary) it's good because they know me and if I can get there, so can they."