Field Hockey Canada > Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame Class of 2022 - Sally Manning

“A one-of-a-kind person and a one-of-a-kind player”

Sally Manning’s remarkable journey through Canadian field hockey is one that has left an indelible mark on the sport. With her recent induction into the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame, Manning’s legacy as an extraordinary Canadian player is now forever etched in history.

From the very beginning, Manning stood out as a force to be reckoned with on the field. Sheila Forshaw, a fellow FHC Hall of Famer, described Sally’s uniqueness. “If I was to describe Sally, I would say she was a one-of-a-kind person and a one-of-a-kind player,” said Forshaw.

Manning’s journey is characterized by excellence and dedication. Her career achievements include multiple university championships and a coveted distinction as being named among the best 11 players in the world during the 1979 World Tournament. With participation in four World Tournaments throughout her career, she showcased her exceptional skills on a global stage.

A Glimpse into Her Early Days

Manning was born in 1940, and grew up in Maple, Ontario. Her athletic prowess was nurtured from a young age. Jane Manning, Sally’s sister, recalls her father’s role in Sally’s upbringing.

“She adored my father, so she trailed after him everywhere. So, she learned a lot of independence and creativity by just following him,” said Jane.

Sally’s father unfortunately passed away when she was just 12 years old. However, this setback only fueled her determination to excel in her athletic pursuits. In an inspiring turn of events, she joined the Maple Girls Softball Team, where her talent shined as she became the pitcher and won the local championship in her first year.

An athlete of many facets until she found her true sport

Manning’s athletic journey spanned across multiple disciplines. She excelled in track and field, ice hockey, and softball during her time at Richmond Hill High School.

However, it was at the University of Toronto that Manning’s true passion was ignited. Introduced to field hockey in her second year, she quickly became a star player and propelled her university to three consecutive field hockey championships. Simultaneously, she represented Ontario on the provincial team, showcasing her exceptional skills on a broader platform.

Rise to international stardom

Sally Manning’s impact extended beyond local and university competitions. She joined the national team in 1970, marking the beginning of a decade-long journey that would see her competing at four consecutive Field Hockey world tournaments. Her dedication, determination, and tenacity inspired her teammates and left an incredible mark on the sport.

“She could dribble that ball through anybody, and then put the ball in the net. The next thing you know we are at the other end and there’s Sally saving the ball off the goal line,” said Forshaw.

Her crowning achievement came at the 1979 World Championships in Vancouver, where she was recognized as part of the “President’s XI.” This was a group of 11 players recognized as the best in the world. Manning’s excellence on the field and her unwavering commitment to the sport earned her a place among the elite, making her a proud representative of Canada on the international stage.

A legacy cemented

Sally Manning’s contributions to field hockey continue to be celebrated long after her retirement. A true testament to her impact, she is a member of the U of T Hall of Fame, the Vaughn Sports Hall of Fame, and the Bobby Orr Sports Hall of Fame. Her dedication, skill, and passion for the game have left an indelible mark on these institutions.

Although Sally Manning passed away in 2014, her legacy lives on in the hearts of those who knew her and admired her work. Her inclusion in the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute to her exceptional career and serves as a reminder of her profound impact on the sport.

In reflecting on her legacy, those who knew her best emphasize her humility, her team-oriented spirit, and her undeniable work ethic. Sally Manning’s journey from a young athlete in Maple, Ontario, to an international field hockey icon is a testament to the power of passion, determination, and seizing opportunities. As her sister Jane described it, “Who would’ve thought when we were kids that this would’ve been your life?” Indeed, Sally Manning’s life and career are a testament to the extraordinary heights that can be achieved through dedication and unwavering commitment to one’s passion.