Field Hockey Canada > Field Hockey Canada mourns the loss of pioneers Ansari, Kular, and Chohan

The Canadian field hockey community is mourning the loss of three individuals who had a profound impact on the sport and its athletes. Field hockey pioneers Jassi Jagjit Kular, Az Ansar, and Olympian Shami Chohan, have sadly passed away.

Field Hockey Canada honours their contributions to the sport and community. Jassi, Az and Shami are all remembered as mentors and pioneers who played invaluable roles in Canadian field hockey history.

Az Ansari

Az Ansari is remembered as a pioneering figure for North Shore and British Columbia field hockey.

Az seemed to always be involved in field hockey in one capacity or another. He helped start up the Jokers Field Hockey Club early on, but arguably his greatest influence was as one of the founders of the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club (WFHC) in 1972.

The WFHC Junior Boys Program Az created saw many of its participants like Ian Bird, Paul Wettlaufer, Mike Mahood and Peter Milkovich to go on to play in multiple World Cups and Olympics for Canada.

In 1987, Az and Nick Milkovich prepared drawings for a clubhouse at Hugo Ray. The clubhouse stands today as the only full service clubhouse for field hockey in Canada.

Az also started the Junior Girls Program when he and Victor Warren (1964 Canadian Olympian in field hockey, and former Canadian Field Hockey Association President) wanted their daughters to play the game.

Az completed his term as WVFHC President in 1976, but through his work, he touched many with his love of the game, something mentee Peter Milkovich sees as his real gift.

“He was passionate about seeing kids in sport and particularly field hockey,” Milkovich explains. “For me, he was my skills mentor, and his guidance, passion and leadership created players who continue to give back to the game.” Az sadly passed away Saturday June 10th, 2017.

Jassi Jagjit Kular

To many, “Jesse” is remembered as an old school gentleman with a positive outlook, who always had a joke on hand. He was quite the fixture on the Canadian hockey scene, running businesses in both B.C. and in Ontario.

According to PTC News, Kular moved to Canada from Kenya. He represented his home country at the Olympics in Mexico in 1988, Munich in 1972, and Montreal in 1976. He also played in the 1971 and 1973 World Cups, representing Kenya.

He moved to Canada in 1973 and ended up working for the Quebec and Ontario Hockey Federations, and managing Canada’s National Team in 1992.

Canadian Men’s National Team forward Devohn Teixeira remembers Jassi as a coach, and as a Legend “who taught me about the game of hockey.”

Jassi regretfully passed away Sunday June 11th, 2017. His family is holding a visitation in Brampton, Ontario, Monday June 19th from 7-9pm. The following day, Tuesday, June 20th, Jassi’s funeral service and cremation will be held 11am-2pm. A prayer service will be held later that afternoon at 3:00, with food to follow at the Brampton Crematorium & Visitation Centre.

Shami Chohan

Shami Chohan was another one of the greats. And although he passed away a month ago (Friday, April 28th, 2017), his influence in the field hockey community is still felt today.
Shami was a player, coach and umpire for the B.C. Field Hockey Association as well as Club President for the India Field Hockey Club. But most of all, he was a mentor, who is remembered as an ambassador for field hockey in so many capacities.
Friend Ian Baggot affectionately remembers Chohan “for always frowning and shaking a kindly index finger at any transgressor of poor sportsmanship, something he would not condone.” Baggott adds, “there cannot be many of us who did not come under that surly frown at some point in our hockey games.”

Jassi Jagjit Kular, Az Ansari, and Shami Chohan will be sorrowfully missed by their families, friends and the Canadian field hockey community. But their legacies will live on.