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On Jan. 26, several Victoria-based and Victoria-connected field hockey members were honoured at the Annual Volunteer and Community Contribution awards hosted by Field Hockey BC at Heritage Hall.
Field Hockey BC President, Denise McGeachy, emceed the event that featured annual award winners, volunteer recognition awards and community club recognition awards. Victoria was well represented in those awards. Long-time national team member for both the senior outdoor and indoor women’s team Kathleen Leahy was honoured as the top female senior athlete. Leahy was away in the Czech Republic with the indoor national team at the time so Ali Baggott was there to accept the award on her behalf. Recent mainland-transfer Mackenna Brown, who follows her sister Wynn’s footsteps is an adopted-islander who is now attending St. Michael’s University School, was named the top U16 female athlete after leading BC to a U16 National Championship title this past summer. Mackenna is also a member of the Lynx FHC and a NextGEN athlete.
Long-time Sailors FHC member and former UVic and national team member Ali Baggott was honoured for her contributions to women’s field hockey, joining a prestigious list of names on the Barbara Schrodt award. Former Vikes men’s field hockey player and now Canada’s top male official, Tyler Klenk, was named Umpire of the Year following a season being recognized as the Canada West and U SPORTS Umpire of the Year and umpiring the gold-medal games at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago and one of the men’s Olympic qualifiers in Oman just earlier this month.
Long-time former FHBC board members Brian Groos and Brenda Rushton were honoured for their volunteer contributions after both have given much time to both the provincial organizing committee and the local hockey scene. Rushton was highlighted for her time and energy starting technical officer training and mentorship in the province.
The Victoria Junior FH Association nominated long-time equipment manager Kelvin Kum for a community club recognition award. Throughout all three of his children going through the junior league, Kelvin has been the equipment manager and a board member giving most of his time on the weekends throughout the 10-week program and beyond to keeping players and coaches armed with what they need to have a great season.
FH Victoria also nominated Jagir Dhanowa for his contributions in the umpiring circle on Vancouver Island. Never one to shy away from a last minute spot that has opened up or driving to Duncan to umpire, Jagir has been so important to keeping the officiating circles going. Jagir also contributed heavily so that local umpires could be well-equipped with jackets and radio head sets, and is a valued member of the umpiring circle.
Senior Female Player of the Year: Kathleen Leahy (Team Canada, UVic, Lynx FHC, Hawks FHC)
Junior Female Player of the Year: Mackenna Brown (Team BC, North Vancouver FHC, Lynx FHC, SMUS)
Barbara Schrodt Award for contribution to women’s field hockey: Ali Baggott (Sailors FHC)
Umpire of the Year: Tyler Klenk
Volunteer Recognition Awards
Governance support: Brian Groos (Rebels FHC)
Governance & Technical program support: Brenda Rushton
Community Club Recognition Awards
Kelvin Kum (Sailors FHC, VJFHA)
Jagir Dhanowa (FH Victoria, Vancouver Island Umpires Association)
Congratulations to everyone.
Icy conditions and frigid temperatures that prompted UVic to close the turf field all weekend will prolong the holiday break for the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association.
The league was scheduled to start second-half play on Sunday, Jan. 14, but the field closure will leave players and their teams hoping conditions change in time for the Jan. 21 games.
The Island ladies league cancelled its Saturday games on Thursday and the men’s league followed suit the next day.
UVic indicated it would reassess conditions on Monday, with temperatures forecast to be warmer.
By Ali Baggott
This month is a busy month for island athletes and one island-connected umpire who are set to represent Canada on a very important state – the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
The Canadian women’s national team drew the qualifier event in Valencia, Spain from Jan 13-21, while the Canadian men’s team are set to compete from Jan. 15-21 in Muscat, Oman. Both teams have already arrived in their respective locations to acclimatize and get some training and test matches in after the holiday break.
Victoria’s Kathleen Leahy (Lynx FHC, UVic Vikes) and Anna Mollenhauer (Lynx FHC, UVic Vikes) alongside Duncan’s Sara Goodman (Cowichan FHC, UBC Thunderbirds) are part of the 18-player roster. On the men’s side, Victoria’s Harbir Sidhu (Tigers FHC, UVic Vikes) has made the squad, while formerly Victoria-based umpire Tyler Klenk was selected to officiate at the Oman event.
Following October’s Pan American Games, hosted in Santiago, Chile, both Canadian sides failed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics as only the continental champions had a direct berth the the major games. Argentina, in their continued dominance, took the seed on both sides. With hosts, France, and five continental champion berths now sealed, that still leaves 6 available slots for the world’s remaining teams to vie for.
There are two FIH Olympic qualifying tournaments per gender and the top three placings in each tournament, each with eight teams, will qualify. The Canadian women will open pool play against Great Britain, before taking on Malaysia and then Spain. Belgium, Ireland, Korea and Ukraine are in their rival pool. Those games are hosted in Valencia, Spain, while the other women’s qualifier is taking place in Ranchi, India.
The Canadian men’s side will be Muscat, Oman, alongside Klenk as an umpire. Canada shares a pool with Germany, New Zealand and Chile, and the other pool includes China, Great Britain, Malaysia and Pakistan.
It will be no easy feat to compete in these gruelling events but the prize is an ultimate one. Cheer on the Canadians.
Learn more about the FIH Olympic Qualifiers: https://www.fih.hockey/events/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/news/fih-hockey-olympic-qualifiers-2024-pools-revealed
Watch the Olympic Qualifiers online at: https://watch.hockey
Schedules, scores, rosters and more at: https://tms.fih.ch/
It may be premature to say the defending Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association champion Tigers are once again the team to beat in the competitive division, but it is fair to say they’ve turned the corner.
After an up-and-down start that saw them post just three wins in their first eight games, the Tigers have ground out two straight wins over quality sides to pull their record level at 5-5-0.
The latest was a 4-2 decision over the first-place Rebels, the same team that beat Tigers 9-1 just three weeks ago (see: Rebels pad comp. division lead with win over partly keeper-less Tigers https://bit.ly/41pllak ) .
Josh Brown led the winners’ attack with a pair of goals, while Parm Sahota and Javier Virk notched a goal apiece. Gavin O’Halloran, who scored the game’s first goal, and Bevan van de Berg tallied for the Rebels.
The second competitive division game of the day, between Victoria League Selects and UVic Vikes, was cancelled due to a shortage of players.
In the morning’s recreational division game, Hawks’ Gurcharn Athwal made the most of his opportunities, scoring three times to lead his team to a decisive 5-1 win over the Marauders.
Hawks midfielders Amit Dillon and Gursharan Kalar gave Marauders defenders fits with their ball control through the middle, and their forays into the opposing end saw them rewarded with a goal each.
Tom Vincent, found alone deep in the circle with a pinpoint pass from Will Cuddihy, scored the lone goal for Marauders.
VIFHA now enters its mid-season break, returning to action on Sunday, Jan. 14.
Find photos by Don Descoteau from today’s Tigers Rebels game at https://www.facebook.com/GVmensFhockey/ .
(This version of the story has changes not included in the original post)
The absence of some key personnel made for a pair of atypical games in Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association competitive division play Sunday at UVic.
Tigers were without a goalkeeper for the first half of the day’s middle game, during which they played with 11 field players against Rebels 1. The latter bagged a couple of goals, despite being “shorthanded” for a half, then continued their scoring barrage when the keepers arrived in posting a 9-1 win.
Johnny Jacoby managed to elude the Tigers defenders and find the net three times for the Rebels, who got single goals from Dale Kirk, Ethan Picard, Dash Nelson, Ben Wheatley, Bevan Van de Berg and Chris Dahl. Rajiv Dillon notched the loan goal for Tigers (3-5-0).
While the victory may not have been as satisfying as its four previous wins, Rebels (5-2-2) did use the points to open up a five-point margin on the second-place UVic men.
The Vikes (4-5-0) were again bitten by the short lineup bug and were forced to default their Sunday contest to the Victoria League Selects (3-3-2) due to the lack of players. Those on hand did, however, create two even teams to play a friendly.
The day’s recreational division game saw Rebels 2 post a 2-0 win over Marauders, paced by goals from Chris Dahl and Clive Wheatley.
Next weekend’s actions opens with the jamboree games for the rec players, followed by Tigers vs. Vikes at noon and Rebels vs. Selects at 1:30 p.m.
Find a collection of photos from today’s games on Facebook .