Reg Plummer’s family moved to Melbourne, Australia when he was 14 and he discovered the joys of field hockey. In 1969, they moved to Ottawa and there he started playing field hockey with the Ottawa-Hull Field Hockey Club which is now known as the Outaouais FHC. He still plays and mentors at the same club to this day.
“It was all these fellows who were in their mid twenties, [through] their forties, and they were from all over,” he said. “As you can imagine, field hockey back in those days was very much an immigrant sport. So these guys were from Holland and Germany and India, Pakistan and Kenya and Uganda, you name it. I discovered it was just so much fun. It was a blast. So that was my introduction to field hockey.”
Plummer participated in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles as well as three Pan American Games and the 1978 World Cup. By the 1976 Olympics, the game was growing in Canada and he says that he and his team were part of the growing process.
“I think by the time we got to ‘76, maybe I had 30 international caps, which I think in today’s terms would not be very high,” said Plummer. “I think you do that pretty quickly. Back in those days, we thought 30 international caps was pretty dramatic, but the game was in the process of changing the international calendar. It was just exploding and it continued to explode and it has continued to expand. So players nowadays, I think getting up to 250 caps is not unheard of. Whereas back then it was unthinkable. 100 was astonishing.”
Plummer reflects on the importance of the international and Canadian hockey community and noted the challenges of retiring from the game at the top level. “It’s hard to close the door on something like that; I found it psychologically difficult. It felt like I was a part of a big international community and it was very sad to let that go.” By the end of his career, Plummer had participated in 125 international matches and was a key leader and star player for the Canadian National Team in the 1970s and 80s. He may have retired from international play, but Plummer is still playing with the Outaouais FHC. In addition to his on field contribution, he has shifted into a coach and mentor role for many in the Ottawa area.
“Right now, I’m coaching the Marivale High School field hockey girls,” said Plummer. “I totally love it. It’s just so much fun. It feels like they’re giving me as much as anything I could be giving them.”
Reg Plummer’s induction into the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame is a celebration of a decorated international player and a dedicated individual who is always giving back to his community.