(Featured images courtesy of: Yan Huckendubler, Shaheed Devji)
Canada’s field hockey teams have three representatives nominated for Hockey Stars 2015, the International Hockey Federation’s annual awards recognizing the best in their position from the past year.
On the men’s side, David Carter has been nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year, and Sukhi Panesar has been nominated for Rising Star.
On the women’s side, Women’s National Team assistant coach and Junior National Team head coach Steph Andrews is among three nominees up for Coach of the Year.
The winners of each player category will be determined by a combination of a peer vote from international athletes and fan voting, which is open to the public from now until January 20, 2016. Canadian fans are encouraged to vote for Carter and Panesar at http://fih.ch/hockeystars.
The winner of Coach of the Year is voted by coaches from the international field hockey community.
The 34 year-old Carter is coming off a year in which he made waves in the international hockey community.
An all-world performance at the World League Semifinal in Argentina in June, during which he led Canada to a quarterfinal victory against New Zealand in a fourteen-round shootout, the Vancouver, British Columbia keeper ended-up taking Goalkeeper and Player of the Tournament honours, which is a first for a Canadian.
He also appeared in every match at the 2015 Pan American Games and shared duties at the 2015 Hockey World League Final.
Panesar, who calls Surrey, British Columbia home and is only 21 years-old, has quickly become a staple in the Canadian midfield since making his debut in 2010. He played in his fiftieth senior international math for Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
Like Carter, Panesar also competed in all major tournaments this year including World League Round 2, the World League Semifinal, World League Final, and the Pan Am Games.
Both Panesar and Carter were key in Canada achieving qualification for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil.
Steph Andrews joined the Women’s National Program as Senior National Team assistant coach and Junior National Team head coach at the beginning of 2015.
The product of Australia’s playing and coaching system aided in leading the Canadian Women’s National Team to a bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, which was the first time in more than 15 years that the Canadian women won a medal at the Games. In 2015, Canada’s women also cracked the top twenty in the FIH world rankings.