Field Hockey Canada > Coreen Flemming (Builder)

Coreen Flemming (Builder)

A journey of unity, empowerment, and friendship. A builder of community across Canada.

Field Hockey Canada is proud to induct Coreen Flemming into the Builder’s category of this year’s Hall of Fame. A true maritime pioneer, Flemming’s dedication and remarkable contributions to the sport have left an incredible mark on the field hockey community.

“I’ve received a lot of awards and recognitions, but this is like getting an academy award for sport,” said Flemming.

From humble beginnings to sporting excellence, Flemming’s journey is a testament to passion, perseverance, and a commitment to the game she loves.

A journey rooted in passion

Growing up in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, Flemming found herself in a school environment with limited athletic offerings. However, this didn’t deter her for long. In grade nine, she transitioned to East Hants Rural High School, an academic institution that embraced sports. This move marked the beginning of Flemming’s rise in athletics as she won both Junior High School Athlete of the year in 1963 and Senior High School Athlete of the Year in 1966. She was the captain of both the soccer and basketball teams, while simultaneously playing varsity volleyball, track and field, and gymnastics.

However, It wasn’t until her university days at the University of New Brunswick that she found a sport which would ultimately define her athletic legacy. Encouraged by a friend to try out for the field hockey team, Flemming stepped onto the field and immediately fell in love with the sport. Her natural talent shined, leading her to secure a spot on the varsity team in her first year.

Flemming’s journey was not without its challenges. A heart attack shook her world shortly after her initial success. However, her resilient spirit kept her persistent. Not only did she overcome this adversity, but she went on to become the captain of the team and clinched four university championships. Her excellence was further acknowledged when she was named Athlete of the Year just before her graduation in 1971.

A legacy of giving back

Flemming’s love for the sport and the valuable lessons it provided her, motivated Flemming to give back. After graduation, Flemming began a coaching career at Mount Allison University and later took her expertise to the provincial stage. Coaching senior and junior teams across Prince Edward Island, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Flemming’s influence began to spread across the country.

Her coaching journey led her to develop the Career Coaching Program, a visionary initiative that engaged over 100 coaches. This program became a stepping stone for coaches of all levels to develop their abilities in becoming better officials.

Flemming’s advocacy extended beyond coaching. In the early 1970s, she advocated for Nova Scotia to host its first-ever senior national tournament in 1975. Her efforts paid off, as Nova Scotia was able to showcase not only their hosting capabilities but also provide an environment for the Nova Scotia Provincial team to win its first and only national championship.

She also played a crucial role in the amalgamation involving the Canadian Women’s Field Hockey Association (CWFHA) into Field Hockey Canada, and the Ontario Women’s Field Hockey Association (OWFHA) into Field Hockey Ontario. Flemming’s ability to unite the best aspects of both organizations helped elevate the sport and provide a coherent vision on a national and provincial level.

A lasting impact as a trailblazer

Flemming’s commitment to promoting female representation and gender equality in sports is also a big reason why she’s earned the admiration of her peers. She pushed for inclusivity and equality, becoming a role model for female athletes across Canada. Her tireless dedication earned her roles such as OWFHA President, Chair of Field Hockey Ontario, and International Sports Representative, showcasing her as a driving force for positive change.

Reflecting on her storied career, Coreen Flemming’s legacy is one of unity, empowerment, and friendship. Her colleagues and teammates hope she will be remembered as a trailblazer who not only contributed to the growth and development of field hockey but also brought people together through her passion and leadership.

As Field Hockey Canada welcomes Coreen Flemming into its Hall of Fame, her journey stands as a testament to the power of determination, dedication, and the profound impact one individual can have on an entire sport.