Inductee Name: Barb Hart Harris
Date: Class of 2020
In the builder’s category for this year’s Hall of Fame class, Field Hockey Canada honours someone who went above and beyond both on and off the field. Barb Hart Harris contributed for 50-plus years to the Canadian field hockey community as an intelligent player and organizer.
Harris grew up in the Lower Mainland with little to no exposure to the sport. However, when she was admitted to UBC, she discovered the sport. She heard about the success of the team and learned that they travelled to play. So, she went out to a team practice to learn.
Harris was welcomed by head coach May Brown and ended up clicking with the game. After she began to learn and apply her skills in her first season, she began to break out in the season that followed. She went from being on the second team to ending up on the varsity team, leading the team as a goal-scoring threat.
She would then continue to succeed as a player at both the provincial and international levels. She most notably served as co-captain for the Canadian team during the 1959 world tournament. Harris credited her attitude and work ethic for her meteoric rise.
“Because I didn’t start out slowly and learn that this is the way you should do this shot or that shot, all I wanted to do was get the ball in the goal,” said Harris. “I just loved playing so much, I just did all I could to be as good as I could, and it worked out for me.”
Once her playing days were finished, she turned her attention to supporting the game on the administrative side. This administrative work included helping execute the 1973 Canada Summer Games, and notably, contributing heavily to executing the 1979 IFWHA World Championships in Vancouver, B.C.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we put on the best IFWHA tournament that was ever put on from 1930,” said Harris.
Harris was also a key member in founding the 79ers group as a sport, philanthropic, and social club for those involved with the 1979 world tournament. That same year, Harris would also go on to build a Field Hockey Canada trust fund. Those resources came in handy almost thirty years later when the Canadian women were looking to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Congratulations to Barb Hart Harris on being inducted into the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame.