Minister Gosal meets with Karen O'Neill, Gord Plottel, Alan Brahmst

Field Hockey Canada’s 2012 Annual General Meeting took place this past weekend in our nation’s capital.  Provincial Association leaders and representatives, Field Hockey Canada National Staff and the Board of Directors came from far and wide for several days of program updates, workshops and collaboration.  An overarching theme of the weekend was defining a national strategy for the development of field hockey across the country.

Things kicked off on Thursday as the Board and National Staff gathered to review the past year and frame FHC’s strategy moving forward.  The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), joined the group to discuss the significant development of field hockey in Canada, and talk about preparations for the upcoming 2013 Pan American Cup and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.  Minister Gosal continues to show his tremendous support of field hockey from the grassroots level to the National Teams.

On Friday, Provincial Association leaders and representatives participated in an extended Long Term Hockey Development workshop.  This workshop built upon a process started months ago as consultations with each province helped identify strengths and priorities moving forward. 

“It is exciting to hear about the great development work that is already happening across the country,” says Karen O’Neill, FHC CEO.  “New leadership has brought tremendous leadership to this area, and it is inspiring to see everyone working together to build and implement LTHD in their communities.”

Own the Podium’s JP Lavoie joined the group for Friday’s session, providing continued support and guidance for field hockey’s development.

The President’s Reception on Friday evening celebrated those who have dedicated years to the Canadian field hockey community.  Outgoing President Mary Cicinelli was honoured, along with retiring Board Members Carla Corbett and Hari Kant.  Cicinelli isn’t going far – she is the Field Hockey Chair for the 2015 Pan American Games.  Sue Neill was also recognized for her recent retirement from her role as Canada’s representative to the FIH.  

On Saturday, a variety of topics were presented.  FHC Staff provided program updates including a High Performance update from Alan Brahmst (Director, High Performance and National Teams), a look at the Communications Strategy with Amy van Hemmen (Communications Coordinator), and an overview of the Business Development model moving forward from Steve Davis (Marketing Director).  In addition, the concept for the new membership database was presented by Citius representatives Thom Brennan and Christian Hrab.  Board Members Gord Plottel and Carla Corbett then reviewed the current by-laws and potential changes in relation to the new non-for-profit federal legislation.

Voting confirmed several changes to the by-laws, including changing the title of “President” to “Chair,” and updating Karen O’Neill’s position from Senior Lead to Chief Executive Officer.  Saturday evening also brought change to the Board of Directors as Ian Baggott was confirmed as Chair and Sandra Levy was elected to the Board. 

Francois Allaire of Sport Canada joined the meeting to provide an update from the federal government, and also recognize Mary Cicinelli’s many years of dedication on behalf of Sport Canada. 

The formal Annual General Meeting took place on Sunday.  The final item on the agenda confirmed the 2013 AGM will take place June 6th to 9th in Ottawa.