When he heard that he was being inducted into the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame, Ottawa’s Denys Cooper was shocked and honoured. “Gobsmacked is the word,” said Cooper. “I’m delighted. Much appreciated.”
Cooper is being inducted in the Builder Category after a 50-year career playing, umpiring and technical directing at local, provincial and national levels. Cooper has been instrumental in the development of umpiring and the technical aspects of the game and continues to set a positive example for the next generation.
His playing days started in England before he moved to Canada. Upon his arrival, he made an immediate impact, both on the field but also off the field, contributing to the creation of the Quebec Field Hockey Association and by way of his involvement with the Canadian Field Hockey Umpires Association. He was involved in setting up the Eastern Region Hockey Association for the different clubs in Ottawa and still remains a dedicated member of the Outaouais Field Hockey Club.
“I attended over forty-three annual general meetings of the club,” said Cooper. “The main changes as being a new club, the Nighthawks [had registered] 200 youth players, which is larger than all the other clubs put together.”
Among many appearances on the global stage, Cooper’s international experience included representing Canada as an umpire at the Pan American Games in Mexico City in 1975, and was a member of the technical official crew for the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
Cooper’s induction into the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame is a celebration of longevity, dedication and involvement in his community.