Story contributed by: Grace Li
Most Canadian field hockey community members would find it hard to remember a time when Rhonda Lewis wasn’t involved in the sport. She led U-19 Ontario provincial teams to national championship crowns in both the indoor and outdoor games and was named the Ontario Coach of the Year in 2007. She has served on the Field Hockey Ontario Board of Directors; she has led the Tournaments and High-Performance portfolios. She was a member of the Year of the Youth Working Committee and the Coaching Development Sub-Committee at Field Hockey Canada. In 2013, she was appointed the Local Course Coordinator for the PAHF High Performance Coaching Course held in Toronto. She is also a founding member of the Toronto Titans Field Hockey Club and a dedicated Board member for Field Hockey Canada. Needless to say, Lewis’ achievements are second to none.
“While scoring goals is important, I believe that achieving goals is paramount.”
– Rhonda Lewis
That’s why it was only natural that Lewis was inducted to the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour this year. She was recognized as a Community Sport Volunteer her for ongoing efforts in the sport, and while the award might seem obvious to everyone else in the community, the award came as a surprise to her.
“I was doing what I loved to do without expecting any recognition,” she said. “My goal was to help as many young athletes as I could to reach their all-round goals [through] core leadership values of discipline, determination, dependability and dedication.”
After playing field hockey at a young age and progressing to the elite level, Lewis started volunteering to give back to the community. Her love and passion for the sport naturally progressed into coaching, where she developed the Titans Field Hockey Club into a model sports organization, promoting accessibility for all.
By welcoming everyone—regardless of age, gender, or skill—Titans went on to boast over 350 medals, 112 provincial athletes, 35 national athletes, 15 qualified coaches, and teams in every male and female division.
Lewis currently sits on the Field Hockey Canada board and is the Chair of their Human Resources Committee. She has many years of sport organization and fundraising experience through her two terms on the Field Hockey Ontario Board, and yet, she remains humble after nearly three decades.
“I feel honoured and humbled at the same time. I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to impact many young lives and watch them grow into successful young professionals with exciting careers,” she said. As for where Lewis sees herself in the future, she hopes to continue having an impact on the sport through her position with Field Hockey Canada
Her most memorable experience to date? Leading two young teams in their first youth international competition in Poland in 2002 and watching them proudly salute the Canadian national anthem.
Her secret? Believing that learning never stops and aiming to impart life lessons through positive reinforcement. “While scoring goals is important, I believe that achieving goals is paramount.”