Cowichan athletes begin Commonwealth Games this week

Canada’s Ciaran Breen, front, is tackled by Germany’s John Dawe during HSBC Canada Sevens rugby action, in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl DyckCanada’s Ciaran Breen, front, is tackled by Germany’s John Dawe during HSBC Canada Sevens rugby action, in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Duncan product and national team member Sara Goodman is surrounded by young up-and-coming field hockey players following a camp at the Cowichan Sportsplex in June 2022. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Duncan product and national team member Sara Goodman is surrounded by young up-and-coming field hockey players following a camp at the Cowichan Sportsplex in June 2022. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Two Cowichan Valley athletes are competing in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, which get underway with opening ceremonies this Thursday.

Ciaran Breen will represent Canada in men’s rugby sevens, while Sara Goodman will suit up in women’s field hockey.

A Mill Bay product and Shawnigan Lake School graduate, Breen spent several years with the national junior program before making his debut with the senior national team at the Vancouver Sevens last fall. He spent the 2021-22 season playing professionally in France with D2 side Carcassonne.

The men’s rugby sevens tournament begins this Friday, with medal games on Sunday. Canada has pool games against Wales and Fiji on Friday and Zambia on Saturday before beginning playoffs.

READ MORE: Cowichan’s Breen and Percillier reflect on national team debuts

Goodman was born and raised in Duncan and graduated from Cowichan Secondary School before attending the University of British Columbia where she played four seasons with the Thunderbirds. She played her first games for the national junior team in 2016, and captained Canada to gold at the 2021 Junior Pan American Championships last August.

Goodman made her first appearance with the national senior team in 2019, and was part of the team that finished third in the Pan American Cup last January, earning Canada’s first berth at the World Cup since 1994, and represented Canada at the 2022 World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands earlier this month.

The women’s field hockey tournament begins this Friday, with medal games on Sunday, Aug. 7. Canada has pool games against Wales on Friday, England on Sunday, India next Tuesday (Aug. 3) and Ghana next Wednesday (Aug. 4) before playoffs.

Commonwealth Games