Field Hockey Canada > An introduction to Cecelia Carter Smith

An introduction to Cecelia Carter Smith

February 27, 2010 | Field Hockey Canada |

An introduction to Cecelia Carter Smith

February 27, 2010

Behind the scenes of our Field Hockey competitions and training, are some marvelous and colorful stories of our men and women’s teams and the people who work with them. Oftentimes, it is these stories which truly capture the heart of our sport, and reveal the true depth and breadth of our National team members and the people supporting them.

To help tell these stories, Cecelia Carter Smith will be providing her talent for storytelling to the FHC community.  Cecelia has a passion for sport which is unparalleled—as an athlete, she ran track- the 440, 600 and 800 yards, holding a Canadian Indoor record for years, and she competed for two Commonwealth Games.  Once she retired as an athlete, she continued to fuel her love for sport through her long standing and decorated career as a High school teacher, coach and senior delegate on numerous Boards, Trusts and Bid Committees.  Cecelia continues to inspire people through her weekly column in the Hamilton Spectator featuring some of our countries amateur athletes and now, through the stories of our Field Hockey Community. 


Hooked on Hockey by Cecelia Carter Smith

I’m hooked on hockey. I was introduced and officially welcomed to the Canadian field hockey family a few weeks ago. And what a warm welcome it was!

I engaged in a crackerjack conversation – and a luscious luncheon, too – with women’s national coach, Louis Mendonca. Our lunch lasted longer than the length of three field hockey games. In fact, we went into overtime. Our opponent, however was the clock. And I had to excuse myself. Another commitment called. 

Coach Mendonca – eyes as big as saucers and glistening, too – gave me a précis of the programs – at all levels. Whew – lots of good things going on out there. I’m impressed.  Clearly, the commitment of the athletes, the coaching staff, and support staff is contagious.

I have to confess. I am a relative neophyte in this field but, have an appetite for the game.

Call me the new kid on the block.

Presently I am stickhandling my way across the continent connecting with various members of the programs. Male and female.  Nats and youth. 

I’ve learned that the national women’s team is on the ground in Vancouver after their January junket in Chile and Argentina. A number of the Women’s Team  are volunteering at various Olympic venues. What an experience! I’m envious. I’m certain you’ve caught the Olympic fever by now. One thing for sure. These Women’s National team members are in rare air – Olympic air. Breathe it. Bottle it. Believe it.

I remember an 18 year old who watched in awe as decorated Canadian speed skater, Gaetan Boucher toed the line at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Oval. Twenty years, and five Olympics – two summer and three winter – and multiple medals later, 37 year old Clara Hughes was selected to carry the Canadian colours into BC Place. Clara dared to dream.

“Fire on Ice” is the only Olympian in the world to secure multiple medals in both summer games – two bronze bike medals in Atlanta (1996) – and in winter games where she traded pedal power for burning blades – 5000 metre gold and silver in team pursuit in Turino (2006).

 The ‘Toba talent told The Toronto Star’s Randy Starkman that she sees carrying the flag “as a potential energy source that’s unlike any other. I have the energy of millions of people inside me. I am Canada. I am my country. I am my people. I am this huge thing.”

Yes, Clara you are “this huge thing.” Bigger than you realize.

To all of our Women’s Team in Vancouver – soak up the sites – soak up the sounds. But, most of all – dare to dream.

Again thanks for adopting me. I’m especially excited about meeting so many of you. I hope I don’t deliver material that might merit a red card.