LONDON, England - August 3, 2018 - Last August, three natives of England traveled across the pond to volunteer at the 2017 Pan American Cups in Lancaster, Pa. That group, which consisted of Alex Bandurak, Katie Bent and Chris Wardale, dedicated countless hours and their depth of hockey event knowledge to make sure the tournament ran as smoothly as possible, as Hockey Makers.
The Hockey Makers are an open group of volunteers, tied closely to England Hockey, that support indoor, outdoor and international hockey events. Their motto is charged around “being part of the Hockey Family” and of course the benefits at a minimum include having fun, meeting people, learning new skills and building their volunteer resume. Since the London 2012 Olympic Games, their volunteers have extended their experience internationally.
It was in Lancaster, Pa. that this trio suggested Americans get involved and apply as Hockey Makers for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup. The process wasn’t as simple as signing up for desired roles and it wasn’t guaranteed entry. After completing an online application to show interest, applicants were awarded either an in-person or Skype interview, a new process to aid in this event’s selection. From there, it took several months for the Hockey Makers association to sort through the 1,400 applications and narrow down the volunteer pool.
Accepted applicants received an official e-mail on their status, also inviting them to continue the registration process. This included updating personal information, availability during the World Cup and training days, and how to access the mandatory online safety courses.
The five Americans who had the privilege of being selected as Hockey Makers are part of a 640-volunteer group working throughout the 17-day event. They dedicate their time, resources, knowledge and energy to make sure the event went off without a hitch, gaining an understanding about event production while making new friends in the hockey community.
Two of those five who made the trip to London, are Lisa McCoy, USA Field Hockey’s Director of Futures and International Events, and Krista Page, USA Field Hockey’s Futures Development Manager. Being in charge of all international events in the United States, McCoy is volunteering in the spectator and team services area to gather more in-depth knowledge on how to engage spectators in the lead up and throughout the competition, and support the teams while onsite at an event.
"We have had an awesome opportunity to see and experience many aspects of the behind the scenes operations at the World Cup," commented L. McCoy. "This will become invaluable as we move forward with the FIH Pro League."
Page, who is primarily in charge of international series tickets and accreditation back in the States, has opted to volunteer in that role here. She has taken back knowledge from various aspects of the event management.
"Spending two weeks at the World Cup as a Hockey Maker has allowed us to gain in depth knowledge of their back of house processes," added Page. "The Hockey Makers are a fun and passionate group of volunteers. They, along with England Hockey, were very welcoming and willing to share their experience which will greatly benefit us as we begin to prepare for the FIH Pro League."
The other three individuals came all the way from the United States solely for their love of the game and the chance to volunteer at hockey’s second biggest event. Kayla Forrey, along with Emily and Eryn McCoy, were tasked in various different roles. They included helping with the onsite teams, locker room change over and team equipment.
These three were also volunteers at the 2017 Pan American Cups and met and developed friendships with Bandurak, Bent and Wardale who had attended. In turn, they wanted to give back and experience what the Hockey Makers do for the England at events such as the World Cup.
Want to get involved?
USA Field Hockey is looking for a dedicated group of volunteers to assist with the 2019 FIH Pro League. Roles and duties include team liaisons, accreditation assistance, ticket office management, helping spectators find their seats, being part of the Ball Patrol, and more.Interested individuals can email Krista Page at email@example.com.
For more on the Hockey Makers, visit hockeymaker.co.uk.
L to R: Lisa McCoy, Eryn McCoy, Kayla Forrey, Emily McCoy, Krista Page
Image Taken by Mark Palczewski