2023 Field Hockey BC Award Winners

Senior Male Player of the Year: Brenden Bissett

(Award accepted on Brendan’s behalf by Field Hockey BC Board Director, Narinder Sangha)

Brenden receives this award as recognition of his ongoing commitment and achievement with the Canadian National Team. Brendan competed at the Junior Pan American Championships in 2012 and the Junior World Cup in 2013. Brenden went on to be selected to the Senior National Team playing an important role in the Canadian Men’s Team qualification for the Olympic Games in both 2016 and 2020.

Field Hockey BC is proud to recognise the 161 representative caps Brenden has achieved for Canada to date in recognizing him as the 2023 Senior Male Player of the Year.

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Senior Female Player of the Year: Kathleen Leahy

(Award accepted on Kathleen’s behalf by Field Hockey BC Board Director, Ali Baggott)

Kathleen too receives this award as recognition of her commitment and achievement with the Canadian National Team. Kathleen made her international debut in 2013 committing the next ten years and counting to the National Team program. Such commitment paved the way to participation in major international competition, the pinnacle of which saw the Senior Women’s Team qualify for and compete at the FIH World Cup in 2022.

Field Hockey BC is proud to recognise both event milestones and the 83 representative caps Kathleen has achieved for Canada to date, in naming Kathleen the 2023 Senior Female Player of the Year.

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Junior Male Player of the Year (Under 18): Jude Nicholson
Sponsored by Kukri Sports Canada

The Junior Under 18 Male Player of the Year for 2023 was awarded to Jude Nicholson, along with a $300 clothing voucher from Kukri Sports Canada. Jude’s Team BC coaches wrote:

Jude has had a tremendous impact on the BC team this year, along with representing Canada at the Junior World Cup Qualifier and the Men’s Junior World Cup. He has set the bar at a high standard of play at the Under 18 Nationals and was committed to the team and BC program both on and off the pitch. Not only named within the 2023 Nationals Tournament 11, Jude’s hard work and commitment to improving as an athlete was also recognized by his peers as he was nominated to be a part of the 2023 leadership team.

Jude has a bright future ahead of him as he moves forward on the international stage representing BC and Canada.

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Junior Female Player of the Year (Under 18): Calista Schwartz
Sponsored by Kukri Sports Canada

The Junior Under 18 Female Player of the Year award for 2023 was awarded to Calista Schwartz, along with a $300 clothing voucher from Kukri Sports Canada.  (Award accepted on Calista’s behalf by her parents)

Calista’s Team BC coaches write: Calista was an integral part of the U18 Blue BC team’s success at the 2023 U18 National Championship. On the field Calista is a quiet, fearless and committed leader to the game and her team.

Calista played an important central pivot role for the team and was critical in both defensive and offensive play. Calista’s technical skills were very critical to her success on the field but what really makes her stand out is her ability to read the game and find space for both herself and her team mates.

Off the field, Calista continued her quiet nature but never shied away from bringing the fun and laughter to the team meetings. Calista was a well-respected member of the team who was voted on to the team leadership group and was recognized at the 2023 National Championships as a Tournament 11 award winner and divisional MVP.

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Junior Male Player of the Year (Under 16): Caleb Fitch
Sponsored by Kukri Sports Canada

The Junior Under 16 Male Player of the Year for 2023 was awarded to Caleb Fitch, along with a $300 clothing voucher from Kukri Sports Canada. Caleb’s Team BC Coaches wrote:

Caleb is an inspirational player and teammate who demonstrates great knowledge of the game. At age fifteen with another year of eligibility in the U16 age group, Caleb’s remarkable playing ability is noticed at both the domestic league and provincial level. As co-captain of the Team BC U16 Boys team, he did a tremendous job supporting and providing feedback to his teammates both on and off the field. A member of the Next Gen Program, Caleb was named the Most Valuable Player and a member of the Tournament 11 at the 2023 National Championships.

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Junior Female Player of the Year (Under 16): Mackenna Brown
Sponsored by Kukri Sports Canada

The Junior Under 16 Female Player of the Year for 2023 was awarded to Mackenna Brown, along with a $300 clothing voucher from Kukri Sports Canada. Mackenna’s Coaches wrote:

Mackenna epitomizes an U16 high-performance athlete. Her work ethic and love of the game are contagious and motivate both her teammates and coaches to work harder thereby increasing the overall intensity and value of every session. Mackenna is open to feedback and continual improvement. A compassionate leader off the field, she endeavors to bring the team together while demonstrating respect and a keen level of responsibility.  The 2023 National Championships saw Mackenna named as a Tournament 11 award winner as well as a divisional MVP. With still another year of eligibility at Under 16 level, Mackenna has a promising future as a provincial athlete.

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Barbara Schrodt Award: Ali Baggott

The Barbara Schrodt Award is presented to Ali Baggott for 2023 and is an award presented to “someone who has made a difference to women’s field hockey in BC”.

In sport you often hear the term ‘the glue that holds everything or everyone together’. Ali Baggott’s continued commitment to field hockey epitomizes this term not only on Vancouver Island but across BC and Canada. She really is a shining example of volunteerism driving community sport and opportunities to participate forward.

Ali is a coach, an umpire, an administrator, a board director, a coordinator, a strategist, a media consultant, and a promotional storyteller….and that’s just within a normal week of field hockey!

Ali volunteers as a central member of the Victoria Junior Field Hockey Association leadership team, providing opportunities for junior athletes of all ages to enjoy both training and playing opportunities throughout the spring and early summer season. Ali helps coach players at all levels, as well as coordinate and develop practise plans to aid new and existing coaches alike. When she’s not coaching, she may well be umpiring, and when she’s not coaching, umpiring, or playing, Ali is giving of her time volunteering in numerous other capacities including as a Field Hockey BC Board Director assisting many a governance portfolio.

The field hockey community is fortunate to have such a superstar in its midst, one that is able and willing to volunteer in almost all circumstances. We have no doubt that Ali will continue to give back to our great sport and it is Field Hockey BC’s pleasure to recognise Ali’s considerable commitment in presenting her with the 2023 Barbara Schrodt Award.

 

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Contribution to Men’s Field Hockey: Chris Roydhouse

The Contribution to Men’s Field Hockey Award is presented to Chris Roydhouse for 2023.

Chris Roydhouse continues to be an inspirational force in the promotion of field hockey at all levels of our game.  Chris has been instrumental in the development of athlete, coach, and league-based programming. Chris along with a team of dedicated volunteers launched the Metro Vancouver Pro League in 2021, the intent for which was to provide senior male athletes an additional opportunity to compete within a performance league structure.

Whilst committing time to the MVPL, Chris also volunteered to assist Field Hockey BC with Boys talent identification programming, Boys technical training programs, and as a head coach within the boys Team BC program.  We hope this award goes some way to thank Chris for his continued hard work and dedication to field hockey participation and development.

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Coach of the Year: Muhammad Imran

Imran has been an ever-present coach within Field Hockey BC programming this past year. From his involvement in the FHBC schools’ program to his appointment as assistant coach of Team BC U16 boys, Imran has shown his versatility and dedication to supporting and improving athletes at all levels of the sport.  The breadth of knowledge that accompanies his often-quiet demeanor adds to his effortless coaching style which has gained appreciation and respect from his fellow coaches.

Imran was instrumental in the U16 BC Boys Team’s stellar performance that cupped the gold medal at the National Championships in Brampton in 2023 and has contributed to the female program as one of the head coaches within the Principles of Play Program, a preparation program for athletes entering provincial evaluation and selection, as well as Field Hockey BC’s Technical Development Program.

In recognition of his leadership and ongoing contribution, it is my pleasure to present the 2023 Coach of the Year Award to Muhammad Imran

 

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Umpire of the Year: Tyler Klenk

Although there are many umpires across BC who play an integral role in the development of our sport, there is none more deserving over the course of the last year than Tyler Klenk.

Tyler continues to excel on the International Stage. Appointed to the FIH Pro League, the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, and the Gold Medal Match at the recent Pan American Games, and Olympic Qualifier in Oman just last week.   it is a wonder Tyler has time to consider officiating beyond his International assignments. But he certainly does – Tyler was also recognized this past year as both the Canada West and U-Sports Umpire of the Year. And it is his sheer dedication to all things officiating both domestic and international that Field Hockey BC would like to recognize this evening.

Tyler is a valuable member of the field hockey community on many scales from the grassroots of officiating where he mentors scores of junior and senior umpires, to the active formal training of officials as a provincial and regional course conductor. He is tirelessly out on multiple hockey pitches almost every weekend to not only officiate but to pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation of umpires.

The standards that Tyler sets for himself resonate in all he is involved with across the field hockey community. We hope that in some small way this award expresses our true gratitude for all that Tyler does on behalf of field hockey in BC, as well as recognize Tyler’s dedication and achievements within the global game.

It is Field Hockey BC’s pleasure to recognise such contribution and achievement in naming Tyler the 2023 Umpire of the Year.