Region 9 - Great Lakes
Region 9 Manager: Lauren Gardner
Lauren Gardner joined USA Field Hockey in October 2020 and is the newest Regional Manager. Although new, Lauren is a longtime member of the field hockey family and a veteran of USA Field Hockey's Olympic Development Pathway Program. She was a passionate athlete, participating in Nexus, previously known as Futures, in Region 5 where she played high school and club field hockey. She attended the University of New Hampshire and played on their highly competitive Division I team in 2012. She is a certified athletic trainer and currently works at the University of Michigan. She is excited to give back to the sport that has shaped her professional career by supporting the Nexus program and helping young athletes achieve their goals through field hockey.
Region 9: Great Lakes consists of six states: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia, and includes the greater Pittsburgh area. The landscape of field hockey in Region 9 is varied. Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan have well-established and outstanding high school and college programs, as well as strong club that offer year-round playing opportunities for boys and girls of all ages. Indiana is home to strong collegiate programs, and has new clubs forming, but currently no high school competition. Tennessee also has new clubs forming for both youth and adults and some club collegiate play. Although West Virginia is surrounded by states with the sport, it sadly currently doesn't have any field hockey playing opportunities. The Pittsburgh area has a growing field hockey community and excellent clubs offering both indoor and outdoor.
Region 9 has a strong history and tradition of field hockey an unlimited growth potential. To support existing programs and help fuel growth, USA Field Hockey selected two states within Region 9 to pilot State Chapters, a system of regional representation designed to help achieve the organization's mission to Grow the Game, Serve Members and Succeed Internationally. The Michigan State Chapter was the first pilot State Chapter, established in early 2020. The Kentucky State Chapter was added shortly after, also 2020. If you live in either Michigan or Kentucky and are a USA Field Hockey Member, you are automatically a member of your State Chapter. Visit usafieldhockey.com/statechapters to explore the State Chapter websites and get involved.
Lauren is the main contact for Nexus in Region 9: Great Lakes. Athletes, coaches and parents, if you have any questions related to Nexus in the city of Pittsburgh and states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia, please contact Lauren at RDM9@usafieldhockey.com.