Canadian David Jameson played almost every sport growing up. And he was good at almost all of them.
Back then, chance was whichever sport he ended up picking, in it he would be destined to have a long and accomplished career. The work ethic was there, and so was the above-average athletic ability.
And while he was a good baseball player, and had quite a good hand in racquet sports, there’s really no surprise Jameson chose field hockey.
“I got into because my mom played for Canada back in the seventies,” Jameson told fieldhockey.ca prior to his departure for Glasgow and the 2014 Commonwealth Games. “All of my siblings got into it pretty easily.”
And as fate would have it, illustrious is exactly what his career has turned out to be.
Now, at 29, more than twenty years after he began playing the sport, he is set to play in his 200th international match for Canada when he and his teammates take to the field against Malaysia on Saturday at the Games in Glasgow.
“When they were babies they were in their strollers on the sidelines,” said Sue Jameson, David’s mother, who represented Canada internationally as a field hockey player from 1973-1979.
Shortly after she retired from international play, Stephanie (David’s older sister) and David were born.
Sue was off the international stage, but field hockey remained a big part of her life and as a result theirs.
“As they got a bit older they were on the sideline playing with kids of my teammates,” she added. “So they were definitely exposed to it right from the get go.”
Starting with the Vancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club before he was even ten, the sport has always been something Jameson has played, but it was not until his teens when he started to make it his main priority.
“At about thirteen, the way baseball was going it wasn’t really working out for me so I turned my focus to field hockey,” said Jameson reflecting on his earliest sporting escapades.
After that, it didn’t take long for his name to rise to the highest levels of field hockey in this country.
“I started (on the National level) when I was eighteen,” he said. “I went to a couple National Championships playing for B.C. and Gene Muller (Canadian National scout and former National Team coach) and Louis Mendonca kind of picked me out. They liked what they saw early on.”
It didn’t take long for former Men’s National Team head coach Louis Mendonca to realize Jameson possessed something special.
“I think his intelligence, his leading, his running away from the ball is what attracted me to him,” said Mendonca, who now coaches the Men’s Indoor National Team which is headed to the 2015 Indoor World Cup in Germany next February. “Even though he was young it was quite impressive.”
But it wasn’t his athletic pedigree, rather his attitude that impressed Mendonca most about Jameson over the years he coached the Vancouver native.
“D.J. has been a very hard working player,” said Mendonca. “I think he’s done everything a coach has always asked him to do.”
And that has afforded Jameson some unique and memorable international experiences as a field hockey player.
“The one that sticks out for me the most is our gold medal winning performance at the 2007 Pan American Games,” he said, thinking back through his near 200 matches for Canada. “Playing in that tournament and with that team, and being a part of that final was amazing.”
“It just made me want to keep going and achieve even more than what I already had.”
So he did.
Jameson went on to represent Canada at field hockey’s most celebrated tournament, the World Cup in 2010 in Delhi, India. In that same year he played in his second Commonwealth Games, also in Delhi, after playing in his first in Melbourne in 2006.
Having competed at the highest level made Jameson a better player and is undoubtedly why he has been able to sustain his career for so long. But it has also made him realize the size and scope of what he has been able to accomplish.
“You know it’s a worldwide sport,” he said. “But (playing in Canada) you don’t really realize how big it is in other parts of the world.”
That’s until you travel the world playing the sport, play against the world’s best, and become one of them. Jameson has done just that.
Now, as he takes part in his third Commonwealth Games, he does so with a monumental achievement in front of him.
Jameson is set to become only the eleventh Canadian field hockey player – male or female – ever to play 200 games. His mother didn’t do it. And neither did his sister Stephanie, who played 168 matches for the Women’s National Team before retiring in 2012, and is in Glasgow to take in her little brother’s big game.
“It’s not just another game,” Jameson admitted when asked about the meaning of his 200th match. “It’s a fairly big milestone, not just in Canadian hockey but for any international player.”
“It’s a lot of games. It’s been the last twelve years of my life, so it means a lot.”
His mother is equally as proud.
“He’s worked hard,” she said from Vancouver. “You never know how long they’re going to keep at it and how long they’re going to be selected.”
In her son’s case, it has been a long time. But don’t count on him packing his turf-boots just yet. David has eyes on yet another prize.
“Moving forward the Olympics is the one that’s eluded me,” he said when asked of his future goals. “It’s the biggest goal that I’ve always had and it still remains that before my career is done.”
It would be just one more feather in the cap, for someone who has plenty to be proud of already.