First and foremost, Alan Hobkirk considers field hockey a team sport. When he learned of his pending induction into the Field Hockey Hall of fame, he couldn’t help but think about the teammates and support that helped him along the way. An inductee in the athlete category for 2019, Hobkirk was honoured and humbled by the achievement.
“Well, I was surprised and delighted. Almost immediately afterwards, there was a great sense of humility,” said Hobkirk, who was Canada’s primary penalty corner taker in the 1970s. “What I think often is ‘why me?’ It’s a team sport. I was very fortunate I got on the scoresheet, [that] didn’t mean I was a better player than anybody else.”
Hobrik was an outstanding player in the 1970s. He was captain of the Men’s National Team from 1975-1979. His stint as captain included the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the 1978 World Cup and participated in four Pan American Games.
He stepped away from the game after the 1979 Pan American Games, to focus on his career and family. But he couldn’t keep himself off the field for good. Hobkirk came out of retirement in 1983 and helped Canada win gold at the Pan American Games that year, qualifying them for the 1984 Olympic Games.
Despite playing as a defender, Hobkirk has been described as one of Canada’s greatest goal scorers, primarily because of his penalty corner taking ability. Hobkirk was a Rhodes Scholar, an Olympian and was awarded UBC’s most outstanding athlete, the only person recorded to have all three honours. In 1994, he was inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame. Though Hobkirk has received any praise and accolades for his playing days over the years, he remains humble.
“The very first thing I thought about really were all the people who had contributed to my career both directly and indirectly over the years,” said Hobkirk. “ Many of those people have passed but their influence was profound and that was positive, whether it be my teammates, my coaches, the officials who are terribly underrated, the umpires, the medical staff. There are just so many of them who had a great influence on my life, and it really made me want to play.”
Despite hanging up the cleats in 1983, Hobkirk still gives back to the community through many years of coaching and community support. He recently signed-on as the masters national team coach for their upcoming world championship season. Hobrik’s induction into the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame is a celebration of a fantastic community member, a great goal scorer and a great leader in Canadian field hockey history.