"I am so grateful and honored to win USA Field Hockey's Humanitarian Award," stated Whitcher. "Spring was a tremendous challenge for me and I had my low moments. When I got the news that I was nominated for the award, it reenergized me and gave me positive momentum so I could continue supporting the community. Plus, it validated all the hard work, my team, our volunteers and I put in this spring."
Whitcher grew up spending most of her summers playing in Holland where she worked and played with different levels of athletes and coaches, including gold medal Olympians and NCAA national champion coaches. She went on to play at the University of Richmond where she earned her degree in business administration.
She continues to use her field hockey and business knowledge as a co-owner of Sport EuroTour, a family-owned company that is built around giving high school American field hockey players the opportunity to travel abroad and experience European field hockey culture from a training and travel standpoint. Whitcher is dedicated to the game through her endless pursuit of helping athletes develop a passion for the sport while simultaneously building them into confident, goal-driven individuals.
Whitcher constantly provides guidance to athletes everywhere regarding college-recruiting, goal-setting and advice on how to create good habits. She also aims to develop athletes that are proud of their accomplishments on and off the field.
Most recently, she has hosted free weekly seminars online to help the field hockey community through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Her topics covered everything from mental health awareness, to creating drills at home and offered outside resources to stay active and mentally fit during quarantine. Whitcher embraces the field hockey community by connecting players as much as she can.
"Owning a field hockey summer tour and camp family business during COVID-19 has been a true lesson on resilience and mental toughness," continued Whitcher. "I believe my entire field hockey career prepared me for this moment. What do you do when you have to cancel all events? How do you prepare during a pandemic? What do you say to your campers? How do you handle the finances? Not only that, but how do you support your campers, their families, your coaches, staff and the community, when you know they are also struggling? I must have missed that day in business school when they answered all these questions."
She also promotes other clubs and programs on her Instagram page and is a constant supporter of field hockey athletes everywhere. Additionally, Whitcher takes a well-rounded approach to athlete development, addressing the importance of improvement and awareness both on and off the field. She has helped change the way many young American athletes view the sport and promotes the love of the game in a unique and refreshing way that hasn't been seen before.
"I needed the field hockey community just as much as they needed the webinars and content my team and I created," said Whitcher. "During a lonely and scary time, the light of my spring was showing up on screen two nights a week, interviewing other experts in our industry and connecting with the thousands of athletes, coaches and field hockey families in our group chat. This spring, I hosted twenty five free webinars, plus a few paid virtual events, with over 10,000 attendees total. By athletes simply showing up, a supportive community organically evolved. I learned you can create deep connections virtually, and through that experience, you can deliver impactful world-class resources that are accessible to all."
The experience Whitcher continues to give athletes has a large impact in shaping who they become as future athletes in sport. Her passion for connecting people together and sharing a common love of field hockey contributes to the community and to add to it all, in her free time, is a varsity high school coach.
"First and foremost I want to thank my dad, Bob Whitcher, who is also my business partner, mentor and rock," said Whitcher. "He and I had more than a few sleepless nights navigating all the new technology and softwares. I also want to thank more than two dozen volunteers who came on my webinars, including Simon Hoskins, Caroline Nelson Nichols, Steph Cooper, Alex Difelice, Nyree Dardarian, Tanya Nongera, Meghan Stocks and Rony Jacober. I also want to thank EuroTour's Director of Goalkeeping, Emily Snowden, who helped me create seven free goalkeeper webinars plus four wildly successful virtual goalkeeper events. I also want to thank our talented college interns who helped me create content and do research behind the scenes. Definitely a huge shoutout of course to USA Field Hockey. Last but not least, whoever nominated me, and everyone who voted, thank you!"
Congratulations once again to Tori Whitcher for winning the 2020 USA Field Hockey Humanitarian Award.