Richmond Field Hockey is making sure it hits the ground running when the Greater Vancouver Junior Hockey League opens this weekend.
The 49-year-old club is one of the few in Metro Vancouver that is strictly seasonal for its junior age players. That can be a disadvantage going up against some of the year-round perennial powerhouses from the North Shore and elsewhere, especially when the junior season is only nine weeks long.
To assist its volunteer coaching core, the club hosted a one day seminar last month at Sport Central that was led by Dr. Eric Broom, Coaching Director for Field Hockey BC and John Sacre, Field Hockey BC Head Provincial Coach and Performance Manager.
“These are the brains of B.C. Field Hockey and I wanted to use them to provide information that some of us simply can’t,” explained RFHC president Kathleen Wong. “Just being part of a volunteer organization, you want to get more people involved and to help. Sometimes all it takes is tapping someone on the shoulder and asking.
“I had been to a couple of award ceremonies where I had met Eric. This is what he does, and with all his experience and skills it’s fantastic. We just want to help our coaches with preparing our players for the season.
Broom is a legend when it comes to his involvement in field hockey and beyond.
He has worked as a teacher, a Regional Officer with Sport England, a Human Kinetics Professor at UBC, an Associate Deputy Minister for Sport in British Columbia and has held many consultancy roles in sport.
He is not only a technical expert and educator in field hockey but in rugby, athletics, swimming and tennis as well. He has worked with over 10,000 coaches as a Master Learning Facilitator with the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and at 89 he isn’t slowing down.
“To be a successful volunteer coach you have to think what you are doing is worthwhile and secondly you are having fun,” Broom told the RFHC contingent. “If you don’t enjoy it then you are simply not going to do it. I congratulate all of you for volunteering in a sport. Without you, sports would not exist.”
Sacre’s session focused on the indoor version of the game that is well-established back east and is now making steady progress in BC. Wong said the club could be adding a fall program in the near future that would also emphasize conditioning.
“The skills being taught for the indoor game are just amazing. Just the way you can maneuver the ball in small spaces,” added Wong.
“It’s fantastic bringing in people like Eric and John, and even having (Richmond Sports Wall of Fame inductee) Lance Carey here too. I think it motivates our coaches and gives them some confidence as well.”