Field Hockey Canada > Field Hockey Canada introduces the Competition Development Cohort program

Canadian field hockey coach education taking the next step to certify more coaches

Famed coach John Wooden once said, “A good coach can change a game, a great coach can change a life.”

National Coaches week is a great opportunity to reflect on those coaches that have been doing amazing work across the country, the significant impact they make daily in the lives of athletes and also to highlight some of the committed coaches currently in our national pathway.

Shona Bowes is the Head Coach for the University of New Brunswick Reds field hockey team. Bowes balances her coaching duties with a busy career and family life. With three children at home, a major reason why she coaches is to show her athletes that there are more opportunities in sport that extend past their university days. She also wants to show that women can be leaders, balance family, have careers and still be role models giving back to the next generation of field hockey athletes.

“I feel very honoured that I get to coach 20-plus amazing female athletes each year. I take on this volunteer position with the goal of positively impacting their experience with sport while completing their studies,” she said. “I want to enable them to be their best, empower them to identify and achieve their goals and hold them accountable to the commitment they have made to themselves and their teammates.”


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In Canada, coach education is managed through the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) whose mission is to “enhance the experiences of all athletes and participants in Canada through quality coaching.” Coaches across the country have the opportunity to learn and develop through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) which provides standardized, inclusive and sport safety education across 65 different sports.

FHC Committed to developing more coaches

Field Hockey Canada has committed to developing competent coaches that are NCCP trained and certified to support our domestic programs and athlete development at all levels. In order to support this, we are excited to have launched a new program to provide opportunity for high performance coaches to pursue their NCCP Competition Development Certification within a supported and scheduled cohort environment. The new Competition Development Cohort Program will offer a one-year certification path for coaches, which includes NCCP multisport training, FHC sport-specific workshop, mentorship through portfolio development and facilitation of on-field evaluation.

The program was developed through Field Hockey Canada’s Coach Education Committee as part of a greater coach education plan that will see focused growth and programming over the coming months.

Jenn Beagan, Field Hockey Canada’s Coach Education Committee chair said this program will emphasize the importance of NCCP certification, continuing coach education and professional development, training and qualification of sport specific coach educators and greater access to coaching support, mentorship and building a national “one team” coaching community.

“We went through a nomination process over the summer that saw nearly 40 coaches nominated by their PSO’s representing every member province, and both Men’s and Women’s National Teams,” Beagan said. “We were pleased to accept 13 coaches of that fantastic group into our inaugural Competition Development Cohort.”

Noah Loomis will be representing the province of Quebec in the cohort. Loomis believes a commitment to coaching development is important to grow the sport and keep a strong sense of culture.

“The cohort program is giving me a great group to work with in the common goal to become better, more educated coaches for field hockey,” Loomis said. “I’m extremely excited to be pursuing the NCCP qualifications required, because it gives meaningful education that is critical for my coaching development in the near and distant future.”

Women’s National Team Goaltender Rowan Harris will also be pursuing certification this year, in order to set herself up to coach more and pass on the knowledge and experience she has gained as an athlete, to the next generation of field hockey players.

According to Harris, “the cohort program helps to create a good environment by providing resources, mentors and gathering like-minded coaches together, which helps to facilitate learning.”

We are excited and energized by the passion of these Canadian coaches and their interest and commitment to furthering their coach education through work in the FHC cohort program. It will be an exciting year for all involved as we work toward certification for this group.

2020 Competition Development Cohort

Dani Husar –Ontario
Jenn Swagar –Alberta
Karli Johansen –British Columbia / Women’s National Team
Keegan Periera – Ontario / Men’s National Team
Margaret Pham – Ontario / Women’s National Team
Nick Hignell – Alberta
Noah Loomis – Quebec
Ramandeep Grewal – Alberta
Rowan Harris – Ontario / Women’s National Team
Shona Bowes – New Brunswick
Taylor Curran – British Columbia / Men’s National Team
Vernon Grattan-King – Ontario
Victor Hardeman – British Columbia