Inductee Name: Judy McCrae
Date: Class of 2020
The former president of Field Hockey Canada is being inducted in the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame in the builder’s category.
Judy McCrae spent 29 years with Field Hockey Canada, contributing in various roles including president, high-performance director, coach, and Chef de Mission.
“I would hope that my contribution to the sport, particularly for women — but not only women — was the part required in that time,” said McCrae.
McCrae grew up in Sarnia, Ontario as a multi-sport athlete that loved to compete. Her first exposure to field hockey was through her roommate at the University of Western Michigan.
”My roommate said let’s go and play hockey, and I said great,” said McCrae. “I went back to my room and grabbed my skates and showed up but it turned out to be field hockey. Field hockey was not in my city nor where I went to high school, so it was new.”
Despite her late introduction to the game, she quickly picked up the sport and was almost selected for the American national team. McCrae then went on to receive a graduate degree at the University of North Carolina, before working at the University of Waterloo. She ended up spending 37 years at Waterloo, and was inducted in the university’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2017.
McCrae dedicated much of her time to the adminstration of field hockey in Canada. After joining the Ontario Field Hockey Association as a representative, her reputation as a solid administrator began to build.
“I went to the national meetings where I would carry the voice of the Ontario Field Hockey Association,” said McCrae. “Once I got around the national table, I knew I had something to be able to offer.”
McCrae was then hired to be the president of the Canadian Field Hockey Association. As president, she played a key role in bringing together both the men’s and women’s field hockey associations to form Field Hockey Canada as it is today.
“The men and women had two different cultures and approaches to their organization building,” said McCrae. “It was a difficult struggle but one that had to occur.”
She also helped bring the first ever FIH women’s junior world cup tournament to Ottawa in 1989, and played a significant role in building what many consider was the most accomplished era for Canadian women during the 1980s.
Congratulations to Judy McCrae for being inducted in the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame.