2023 Volunteer Recognition Awards

This awards event aims to recognise members of our community who have contributed endless hours and energy to assist the Society in delivering extended opportunities to those involved with field hockey in British Columbia. We hope that the following voluntary recognition awards go some way to expressing our gratitude for the difference you make to our sport. Our field hockey community has a great many volunteers and we recognise those that have played a role in assisting our sport at a provincial, regional, and local level.

Field Hockey BC would like to recognize a group of dedicated volunteers each of whom has contributed significant support to the Field Hockey Community as members of the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors.

Governance Support: Alan Waterman

Alan has been assisting Field Hockey BC in a voluntary capacity for many years. A long-time umpire course conductor and umpire mentor, and an invaluable umpire manager at both provincial and national events, it was 2015 when Alan put himself forward for consideration for the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors. Initially taking on and guiding the Umpiring portfolio for two years, Alan then became the Society President in 2018 overseeing the Governance portfolio for a further two years.

Alan remains a wealth of knowledge and experience and is readily at hand to offer advice and guidance to Field Hockey BC, as well as the broader field hockey community both at home and abroad. We hope that this award goes some way to showing the gratitude Field Hockey BC has for the time and dedication Alan continues to give to our sport.


Governance Support: Margaret Johnson

Field Hockey BC has been extremely fortunate to have had Madge volunteer her time as a member of the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors over two significant terms. Having helped to guide the amalgamation of the Women’s Field Hockey Federation and Men’s Field Hockey Association under the umbrella that is now Field Hockey BC, Madge served as the first amalgamated Society President for a full six-year term. Following a brief sabbatical from the Field Hockey BC governance table, the Society soon welcomed Madge back as Society Vice-President, a position Madge dedicated herself to for a further seven years before stepping down in 2021.

Words cannot express the gratitude of the many that have been involved with Field Hockey BC over these 13 years of service. During this time, Madge not only volunteered her time to Society Governance, she also actively supported Field Hockey BC programming, especially event hosting, taking on roles as an umpire, a voluntary umpires manager, and as a volunteer technical official, not to mention also contributing as an umpire course conductor and assessor.


Governance Support: Brian Groos

The amalgamation of the Society in 2005 brought a revision to the structure of Board Governance at Field Hockey BC and it was considered essential that the Society set down a sustainable framework in support of the sport of field hockey in BC, as well as across Canada. In building and retaining such a framework, the Society leaned on and relied on community advocates and Brian was just such an advocate, always supportive, always on hand to provide input, and always there to remind us all should we be in danger of veering off message.

Brian volunteered for the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors following the amalgamation and in the lead into Victoria hosting the 2008 Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Brian then continued to commit his time to the Society Board for more than a decade before stepping down in 2021. Brian is and was an unerring supporter of the Society and a valued colleague across both the Board and Staff table.


Governance Support: Joanna Mukai

Joanna joined the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors in 2014 serving three consecutive terms and six years as the Society’s Director of Finance. Joanna oversaw record highs in Society revenue during her tenure suggesting and executing many financial best practices that continue today. Joanna consistently brought her professional financial experience to bear, as well as her experience as a past playing member of the Society. Despite concerted and unsuccessful efforts to convince Joanna to rejoin the playing ranks, Joanna nevertheless continued to commit her voluntary time to give back to the sport.


Governance Support: Megan Robertson

For more than a decade Megan Robertson served as a Committee Member or committee consultant to the Field Hockey BC umpiring committee…. until such time that is…..when Megan was elected to the Field Hockey BC Board of Director as Umpiring Director in 2018.

Like many of her colleagues on the Field Hockey BC Board, Megan contributed to both Society and portfolio governance, as well as playing, or should I say continuing to play, an active role as an umpires manager at Society events, as a mentor, course conductor, and assessor in the training and certification of umpires, and as an active umpire at community, provincial, national, and international events.

Megan was instrumental in playing a lead role in the development of the first online community umpiring course, committing huge amounts of voluntary time to getting an online educational resource ready for community use. In building such a resource comes a responsibility to monitor, review, and refine and Megan continued to adapt this resource throughout her two-year term with the Board.


Governance Support: Gurjit Sidhu

Following many years where the coaching portfolio of the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors rightly targeted formalised coach education and the associated pathway, Gurjit joined the Society Board in 2018 providing an important community link to coaching leads in clubs across the Province, as well as in assisting club coaches to better understand how and why they might invest in their own professional development.

An advocate for coaches at both the club level and within Society programming, Gurjit gave of his time to assist the mentorship of coaches as well as coach directly within programming. Despite stepping down as a Board member in 2021, Gurjit continues to offer his assistance across the coaching portfolio, within club engagement and liaison, and in support of community events.


Governance Support: Jennifer Taylor

(Award accepted on Jennifer’s behalf by Field Hockey BC Board Director, Michelle McNaughton)

Prior to joining the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors, Jennifer served for many years as a voluntary committee member to the Society’s athlete program committee. In 2015 Jennifer was elected to the Board of Directors as the Athlete Program Director a position she held for six years, stepping down in 2021.

Jennifer brought considerable passion, knowledge, and experience to the Board and was an important sounding board and mentor to Society staff as they attempted to navigate the complexity and often challenging environment of athlete programming, selection, and team performance.

In 2020, Jennifer committed to lead a comprehensive provincial athlete pathway review involving a working group made up of volunteers from across the Province. That Athlete Pathway Review remains a central resource to Society programming and the BC athlete pathway today. Always looking to improve programs and services through the Society, Jennifer should be rightly very proud of her time with Field Hockey BC and the impact her legacy continues to have for athletes across the Province.


Governance and Technical Officiating Support: Brenda Rushton

Many individuals recall with great fondness and respect those people who have contributed to their lives in a significant manner or enabled them to fulfill their highest aspirations or goals. Brenda is just such an individual; respected not only by those that have been directly involved with her in a sporting context, but also by those who look up to her from an organizational and inspirational standpoint. Brenda’s impact to our sporting community and her ability to balance life and a passion for technical officiating and athlete opportunity are a great credit to her and to her family.

Brenda is simply a superstar volunteer, elected to the Field Hockey BC Board in 2008 Brenda served for 13 consecutive years stepping down but certainly not away in 2021. Responsible for governance oversight of the event portfolio with Field Hockey BC, Brenda helped to shape the annual calendar of Society events, whilst ensuring that Field Hockey BC maintained its goal to offer the best possible events to community members.

Brenda has mentored countless technical volunteers in BC, has given up weeks at a time to support both provincial and national events, has passed on her extensive knowledge and experience gained at the international level, and remains committed to cementing a first formalized technical officiating education pathway in Canada.

Brenda continues to give back to Community and Society events alike and although the Field Hockey BC is mindful that a time will come when Brenda scales her voluntary time to a minimum, we sincerely hope that that is still a long way off.

It is fitting that Brenda follows other technical officials that have been honored to receive voluntary contribution awards. It is very likely that many of our annual athlete, coach and official award winners this evening will have been involved in at least one event supported directly by Brenda, and it gives me great pleasure to recognise Brenda’s ongoing commitment with a 2023 Volunteer Recognition Award.


Community Club and League Recognition Awards

The following awards are as nominated by their respective club/association membership

Community Club Recognition Award – Gobind Sarvar FHC: Anterpreet Singh Johal

(Award accepted on Anterpreets’s behalf by Maan Sidhu)

As Gobind Sarvar Field Hockey Club looks back on a season filled with growth, camaraderie, and success, we want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for the incredible impact Anterpreet has had as a dedicated volunteer.  Throughout the season his dedication to ensure that the club runs smoothly in every way possible is truly valued.

Whether it is coordinating events, supporting teams, assisting administrative tasks, or developing marketing strategies, Anterpreet’s impact and enthusiasm cannot be underestimated. We hope this nomination goes some way to thanking you for the countless number of voluntary hours given to assisting the club to grow and prosper. Gobind Sarvar Field Hockey Club is truly fortunate to have you as an essential member of our team.


Community Club Recognition Award – West Vancouver FHC: Christine Stelmack

(Award accepted on Christine’s behalf by past Field Hockey BC Board Director, Lelia Sacre)

Christine has been the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club’s spring league coordinator for the past three seasons. Coordinating 90+ teams, over a thousand athletes, and a significant roster of coaches, Christine is the glue that has bound the clubs junior spring season together.

Christine has spent countless voluntary hours quietly and efficiently managing communications, rostering teams, solving logistical headaches, and making sure everyone knows where they should be and when.

Christine is a true champion of field hockey and as she steps away from her role as spring league coordinator, the club would like to recognize her considerable contribution in nominating her for a Field Hockey BC voluntary contribution award.


Community Club Recognition Award – Victoria Junior FHA: Kelvin Kum

Kelvin Kum has been a pivotal part of the success of the Victoria Junior Field Hockey Association for the last 10 years. He joined the board as a helpful parent and ended his term in 2023 with big shoes to fill.

Kelvin was the equipment director for the Association in charge of managing all the equipment bags, team shirts, club championships uniforms and all of that is not a one-time job. It’s constant. Every week he was at the field helping kids whose sticks were the wrong sizes, bringing shirts for new players, changing out coach bags for more or less cones or special request for certain equipment. Kelvin is meticulously detailed and very proactive. Year after year he has improved and perfected the process to ensure things are smooth and well taken care of. He will often spend evenings cutting mouth guards for the kindies, labeling shirts for the players, packing equipment bags for coaches, re-gripping hundreds of sticks or ordering more equipment for future.

He has spent almost every weekend at the field for the 10-week program every year, driving back and forth to get equipment to the field. He is also an active contributor to board discussion, fills in as a coach when needed and is a wealth of support and knowledge for the board and the sport in Victoria.


Community Club Recognition Award – Vancouver Island Umpires Association: Jagir Dhanowa

Jagir has been umpiring since the early 90s, previously playing for both the Tigers and Hawks Clubs during the 70’s and 80’s.

A generous and supportive person, Jagir is always willing to give of his time, share his knowledge, and contribute to the field hockey community. Always reliable and seemingly always on hand, Jagir’s time and enthusiasm really does keep field hockey moving forward.

Jagir continues to champion umpires across Vancouver Island, whether that’s through the provision of clothing or umpiring technology, or even a pakora or samosa or two. Jagir brings a quiet humility to all that he does and it is an absolute pleasure for the Vancouver Island Umpires Association to be able to recognize Jagir at this evening’s Field Hockey BC event.