The purpose of this page is to provide information, resources, and visibility to women in the sport of Field Hockey, and to showcase the opportunities available to Canadian, female-identifying athletes, to excel within sport using Field Hockey to discover their own internal strength, courage, leadership, communication skills and to enforce the value of teamwork and sport-based friendships.
THE IDENTIFIED PROBLEM:
A February 2020 Report by Canadian Women & Sport in partnership with Canadian Tire Jump Start shows that sport participation rates for Canadian girls decline steadily from childhood to adolescence with as many as 62% of girls not playing sport at all. In fact, this study shows that 1 in 3 Canadian adolescents drop out of sport before they hit 18 years old. In Field Hockey, overall participant numbers trend toward female, which is not surprising with hockey’s participant history in Canada. On average over a 2-year period 2017-2019 (excluding 2020/2021 pandemic years), the participants in field hockey at a grassroots level were 23% male and 77% female. However, despite higher numbers of youth participants, the percentage of female participants that make the jump into the high-performance context is substantially less. As girls move up through the technical development pathways, the female / male ratio becomes more balanced, but less representative of the overall participation numbers.
In this same period of time, 33% of male participants aged 13-18 represented their province, while 10% of female participants represented their province at national competitions.
In coaching, there are high numbers of female grassroots, community and volunteer coaches, however, this number drastically decreases as the level of play increases. There are no National, Female high-performance Head Coaches.
Women’s field hockey is exciting to watch but it rarely gets the coverage it deserves. Spotlighting the women’s game can help show girls that there is a pathway of opportunity for them to play, coach and lead at provincial, national and international levels.
Girls need to see themselves in the game to appreciate and consider their own future involvement. This is critical for the future health of field hockey, the health of sport in general, and to help keep women in the game. We must intentionally feature successful female coaches, officials, administrators, and leaders in our field hockey community, at all levels.