Field Hockey Canada > Sarah Forbes (Athlete)

Sarah Forbes (Athlete)

Field Hockey Canada honours a goaltender who excelled at her craft

Inducted in the athlete category, Sarah Forbes, was an all-star goaltender for York University who led the team to multiple provincial championships. She also played for the Canadian senior national team and has played in the World Cup, Pan American Games, and in Olympic Qualifiers.

“I played field hockey just because I loved it, and to be nominated by friends and teammates is, is a very rewarding, I had a long career and I had a great time. And this is sort of the pinnacle of everything,” said Forbes.

Forbes was born in Victoria BC, but was raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She played a variety of sports growing up, but didn’t play field hockey until she was in grade 10 after tearing her ACL. Her basketball coach then recommended her to play goalie for the field hockey team and she hasn’t looked back since.

“I kind of thrived on it. Like, the harder they shot it, the more I tried to stop it. To me, it was a fun game so I was hooked,” said Forbes.

Her natural abilities led her to qualify for the New Brunswick provincial team, and lead them to a gold medal in the 1989 Canada games. That accomplishment caught the attention of the University of New Brunswick field hockey team, and she began training with them.

“I sort of saw how hard they were practicing, you know, all the extra time they put in, and I started to do that thinking I could go somewhere. I’d see them with their little team Canada bag or their shirt and thought I could do that someday,” said Forbes.

Forbes decided to attend York University in order to get closer to that goal. The team’s goalie coach was Kathy Broderick, who also coached for the national team. However, a big setback came her way as Forbes tore her ACL just before the season began.

“It definitely took a toll but there were so many good teammates around me. They knew my goals, and that was to get back and play,” said Forbes. “So the days I didn’t want to do therapy, they were yelling at me in the gym to you know lift more and spin longer and stuff.”

Forbes’ resilience shined as she helped the team win an OUA championship in 1991. She also began simultaneously playing for the national team where she participated in a Junior World Cup qualifier in Venezuela.

“I was going to do what I could to push myself to see if I could kind of get to that next level,” said Forbes.

Forbes would build on with that momentum for the rest of her time at university. This included winning three provincial championships, becoming a three times CIAU all-star, and winning Female Athlete of the Year during her final season in 1998.

“I’m really proud of the career I had at York and sort of proud of the legacy that we put down there,” said Forbes.

After graduating in 1998. Forbes had her sights set on walking away with some hardware at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. She and the rest of team Canada did just that, as they picked up a Bronze medal at the games. In the following years, Forbes participated in a variety of international tournaments. This included the World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Americans cup and Pan Am’s cup. Forbes decided it was time to step away from field hockey after the 2008 Olympic qualifiers in Victoria.

“I knew that was my last tournament. If we weren’t qualifying for the Olympics, it was time to retire,” said Forbes. “It was certainly  a nice way to kind of cap off. I guess it was 17 or 18 years within the national program. So it was something I’ll never forget.”

When looking back on her career Forbes, would like to be remembered for her work ethic and for who she was off the field.

“You look back and you just hope that you know, when people think of you they think of me being a good player and but a better person,” said Forbes

In addition to being induced to Field Hockey Canada’s Hall of Fame, Forbes is also an inductee in York University’s athletic hall of fame.