Executive Director Weekly Report

Sept. 25, 2012, 1:22 p.m. (ET)
USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of September 24, 2012

Congratulations to the U.S. Junior Men’s and Women’s Team for a successful Pan American Junior Championship. The road to Rio has been paved. These young stars proudly represented the U.S. and are the future of USA Field Hockey. 

The U.S. Junior Women’s Team finished third over the weekend, taking home a bronze medal and earning a ticket to the 7th FIH Junior World Cup next year.  The U.S. Junior Men’s Team also had an outstanding tournament, playing in the bronze medal match and falling to Chile in extra time. My congratulations to the athletes for their devotion and dedication to the sport, USA Field Hockey, and the Pan American Junior Championship.

The U.S. Women’s National Team is back in action as they head to Dublin, Ireland tomorrow for Champions Challenge 1, September 29-October 7. This is the first major FIH event since the 2012 Olympics and features four teams that participated in London with South Africa, USA, Belgium, and Australia. The winner of the tournament will automatically qualify for the next Women’s Champions Trophy, which features the top teams in the world. To view the Champions Challenge 1 roster and schedule, click here. 

This week, USA Field Hockey’s youth development program, Fundamental Field Hockey, surpassed 170 registered programs. It’s a remarkable achievement to have this number of programs committed to growing our sport after only five months of the initiative in action. This is a true testament to the enthusiasm and expertise of our Youth Development Team, consisting of Liz Tchou, Simone Attles and Courtney Tavener. Fundamental Field Hockey was created in collaboration with our Youth Development Task Force, and could not be possible without the support of its partners, Harrow Sports, Partnership for a Healthier America, and the U.S. Men’s Field Hockey Foundation. However, the true champions of Fundamental Field Hockey are the volunteers, coaches, and educators at each of the 170 programs who make the program possible.

Fundamental Field Hockey is a youth development initiative to expose the sport to thousands of children, ages 7-11, nationwide by providing free equipment and emphasizing fun physical activity. The program sends field hockey equipment, provided by Harrow Sports, and a full curriculum to elementary schools and youth organizations, including YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Parks and Recs. The Youth Development Team then pairs the host with a local USA Field Hockey Member Club to provide support and sustainability. By the way, last week at the Olympic Congress in Colorado Springs, Simone Attles presented to the Community Based Organization constituencies during Congress. She hit a home run as the program is only one of two youth development programs endorsed by the group. Well over 2,000 people were in attendance at the Congress with hockey taking a prominent role during the program efforts.

We have been finding that entire school districts and clusters of elementary schools across the country have teamed up to launch the program in physical education classes or after school programs and have been successful. Schools/community based organizations are all starving for this type of program offering to encourage children to become active.

Fundamental Field Hockey has also been paramount in offering the sport to children in at-risk or non-traditional communities. Whether in a local school setting or after school organization, Fundamental Field Hockey has provided equipment to programs in Philadelphia, Camden, Brooklyn, Newark, Norfolk, and Washington DC. 

And we are not stopping here! USA Field Hockey will continue to grow the program and is set to launch 250 programs this year. For more information on bringing Fundamental Field Hockey to your area, please email funfh@usafieldhockey.com or visit the Youth section of www.usafieldhockey.com. 

Reminder as the Board elections and selections loom Alva Serrette, chair of the USAFH Nominating Committee, yesterday reminded me to remind you that he is still accepting nominees for Board seats on the USAFH Board of Directors. He will close off nominations at the end of this month.  In particular, he is seeking coach, umpire, and independent director nominees. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Alva at acoghockey@aol.com. 

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: “The CEO of IKEA announced that he will retire next year after 34 years with the company. Of course, it was awkward when IKEA just gave him pieces of a gold watch with instructions on how to put it together.” 

Have a great week!