Remembering Community Field Hockey Pioneer, Pat Hall

It is with great sadness that the field hockey community mourns the loss of a pioneer of our sport, Pat Hall. Pat passed away peacefully with her family on Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

While Pat has won many accolades over the past seven decades, in recent years she has been a recurring name crossing the stage. In 2020, Pat was inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame for her decades of contributions to both field hockey and softball. Pat was then honoured at the Greater Victoria Sports Awards return to the local stage in 2022, as the organizing committee presented an award in her name, the Pat Hall Volunteer Award. Just this past Fall of 2023, Field Hockey Canada then announced Pat as a member of their 2023 FHC Hall of Fame as a builder.

Pat’s list of contributions is endless. In addition to her many years as player, coach and umpire, Pat served on the executive of the Vancouver Island Ladies Field Hockey Association (VILFHA) for over 40 years. She has been Victoria or BC representative with Field Hockey BC, Field Hockey Canada, the Vancouver Island Umpires Association and the Victoria Junior Field Hockey Association.

She was honoured four times with VILFHA’s most prestigious award, the Christine Trophy, for combining sportsmanship, service and playing ability. She was also honoured by Field Hockey BC with the Barbara Schrodt Award (for those who have made a significant difference to the sport across BC), the Gold Pin Volunteer Award, and the Sport BC President’s Award. In 1983, Pat was named Victoria Sports Person of the Year. In 1993, she was awarded with VILFHA Life Membership and, in 2013, the VILFHA introduced the Pat Hall Officials Development Award, held within the Field Hockey BC Foundation.

If you would like to contribute to the Pat Hall Officials Development Award visit:
https://give.vancouverfoundation.ca/s/give?ID=a0e41000005DMugAAG

Standing on the shoulders of pioneering giants, Field Hockey BC will be forever grateful for Pat’s contributions to the sport and the stage she set for field hockey players, coaches, and officials for years to come. A lovely lady who is already sorely missed. Our thoughts go out to Pat’s family at this difficult time.

“Thank You Pat”

A Celebration of Life is being held Monday, November 13, 2023, 2:00 pm at Mary Winspear Center, 2243 Beacon Avenue (Sidney). Plenty of parking available, refreshments available after service.

Canadian Masters Women’s Committee – Call for Expressions of Interest

The Canadian Masters Women’s Committee is inviting all women aged 035 + to complete this Expression of Interest survey to participate in the World Masters Hockey Indoor World Cup to be held Mar 27-31 (O35, O40, O45, O50, O55, O60, & O65 in Derby, United Kingdom) and the Outdoor Hockey World Cups (WCs), to be held Oct 12- 21 (O35 & O40 in Cape Town, South Africa) & Nov 7-16 2024 (O45, O50, O55, O60, & O65 in Auckland, New Zealand).

Please complete this survey by Saturday, September 30th, 2023 at the latest. This will enable us to register the required number of teams, recruit coaches and team managers, book turf for regional/national training camps and all other associated logistics. None of this is possible without an accurate understanding of who is interested.

This is a wonderful opportunity to play competitive hockey in an international arena. We encourage all players who are keen to develop their skills to complete the following survey:

FHC Masters

rampregistrations.com

Coaching Opportunity – Burnaby Bears FHC

Burnaby Bears are Looking for a Women’s Coach

The Burnaby Bears women’s team is looking for a coach for their 23/24 season.

The team participates in the VWFHA so this position will run from September 2023 – March 2024

Coaches would need to be available for practices Tuesday evenings 6-7:30 at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West, Field #2 and for games on Saturdays (with the occasional Sunday).

**team is willing to be flexible with attendance at games if coach is also a player in the league.

Coaches need to be current FHBC Registered Participants, meet FHBC training standards for coaches, and provide a current Criminal Record Check

Primary Responsibility will include:

-plan and execute all team training sessions

-Game day responsibilities including warm up, line ups, substitutions, etc.

-act as a positive role model for athletes

-agree to follow the Burnaby Bears coaches code of conduct

-some NCCP training may be required if not already completed

-regularly communicate with the team rep/captains and team

Rate: Honorariums based on experience and training.

Please contact Chelsie Goodchild at bbybeartreasurer@gmail.com for any inquiries or applications

Kelowna Hosts Interior Girls FHBC Provincial Talent ID Camp

By Ali Baggott and FHBC Staff, for Field Hockey BC

– Kelowna, B.C. – Several camps are under way as part of the Field Hockey BC talent identification process. One of the outcomes of the extensive 2020 provincial athlete pathway review project was to open the pathway up and be more open, transparent, and inclusive. The redesigned provincial athlete program now includes a three-stage model and the result is an initial talent ID camp happening in regions across the Province. A milestone for this process was the hosting of an interior-based ID camp that took place Jul. 17 at Mission Park in Kelowna, B.C.

The camp was led by three coaches including Kelowna-based Ben Fecht, recently retired women’s national team member Dani Hennig, who hails from Kelowna, and Vancouver’s David Keogh.

“It was a long time ago since I was a part of FHBC programs but what I do remember was that it was great to have the opportunity to play field hockey outside of the short high school season,” said Hennig who retired recently with 200 international caps to her name. “Without FHBC programs there aren’t really other opportunities for these athletes to play hockey. It also allows them to train with different athletes and learn from other coaches which I think is very important for a developing athlete.”

Kelowna Secondary School’s Alivia Venning is one of those athletes who values these opportunities.

“It’s been a long year when it comes to a lack of hockey,” said Venning, a midfielder at the U16 age group ahead of the camp. “I’m looking forward to being back on the pitch, training with my teammates, and working with the fantastic coaches.”

Venning is originally from Bermuda and moved to Kelowna in July 2019 but thrusted herself in to what hockey should could access. She worked closely with Ben Fecht to coach an under 14 team and is eager to absorb what she can.

“There are definitely challenges to playing in the Interior compared to Vancouver (or Bermuda, where we played on turf as well),” described Venning of the lack of water-based facility access in the interior. “I hope that I will be able to bring my training from Bermuda, as well as my time on the Kelowna Senior Secondary team, with me to the Talent ID camp. Unfortunately, the heat and smoke haze this week will also add some challenges. We are very fortunate to have a great facility here in Kelowna, as well as great coaches.”

Two male and two female talent ID camps are also happening on the lower mainland in July and August, while an additional camp is planned for Jul. 23-25 on Vancouver Island. All camps feature consistent technical and game play opportunities, with a vigorous, transparent and fair evaluation matrix. Athletes will also be able to receive qualitative and quantitative feedback to help them move forward in their field hockey development. Coaches from other regions are also being utilized at camps to provide neutral perspective and opportunities for athletes to engage with new coaches.

“It’s always refreshing to have a fresh set of eyes and bring a different culture or view of hockey to another region,” said Keogh, a Vancouver-based coach who made the trip to Kelowna for the camp. “It also gives me the opportunity to learn from other coaches. It’s important for coaches to travel to other areas to share their experiences and learn from others. Also, every region has the right to be assessed fairly, regardless of your location. It’s all about what you can offer.”

An important Field Hockey BC guiding principle is to provide for opportunities wherever and whenever possible to help grow the game and give as many young players the chance to love and enjoy the game.

“Field hockey really helped shape who I am today as a person and taught me a lot of lessons and skills that I have taken into my life and career beyond hockey,” acknowledged Hennig. “My hope is that through coaching I can help impart some of those lessons on the next generation and provide them with the opportunity to learn and grow through the sport of field hockey.”

“If athletes want to pursue field hockey at a high level it becomes about so much more than technical skills. While having less training and competition here as well as lack of access to turf may limit the opportunities to develop and refine technical skills, things like physical fitness, tactical understanding, work ethic and positive attitude are all things which are of equal importance and are things athletes can work on and control themselves. To find success they need to make the most of each opportunity that they have, soak up as much knowledge and be diligent in applying what they are learning each time they step on the pitch. There are a number of national team players, including myself, who have come out of Kelowna having grown up playing on grass, who I think are great examples to look to of how one can find success even with certain barriers.”

Hennig among other interior greats such as Thea Culley, Natalie Sourisseau and Abigail Raye are all Field Hockey BC products who overcame a variety of obstacles to become outstanding international players. For many who attended the talent ID camp this past weekend, this could just be the start before their names are added to that list.

“Dani has been an important part of the Interior Regional programme since I joined,” Venning highlighted about having the national team stand out at the field. “She is an inspiration and a role model to all of us in the program. We have been very fortunate to have an accomplished and talented field hockey player such as Dani involved. She is very approachable and is a great coach to all of us.”

Whilst there is no formal Field Hockey BC Provincial Representative Team Program this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, this summers Field Hockey BC Provincial Talent ID Camp Program is an opportunity for BC’s top athletes to be identified and thereafter invited to participate in Field Hockey BC’s new Elite Program. The new Elite Program is designed to assist athlete preparation for participation and/or selection or re-selection to the National NextGen and National Team Program.

For more information on Field Hockey BC’s Provincial Talent ID Camps and Pathways be sure to check out the website. Upcoming camps include the Victoria-based camp on Jul. 23-25, U16 lower mainland girls on Jul. 30-Aug. 2 and two male camps for U21 and U18 happening Aug. 13-15 and U16 boys happening Aug. 20-22.

Photo Credit: Sam Charles