Sherry Doiron has been around a field hockey pitch or two in her day. And after taking a break from the Field Hockey community for several years, she’s found herself back in the environment as the Team Manager for the Indoor Women’s National Team.
Doiron has a background in coaching. She coached rugby and field hockey in her university and post-university years. She found herself working for Field Hockey Canada in the early 2000s as a team manager and analyst. She carved out a role for herself as the manager of coaching and athlete development. She traveled to tournaments all over Canada and the world including the 2005 Junior World Cup. After six years working with the Field Hockey Canada National Teams, she switched her focus to rugby.
Doiron never left the sport environment. Today, she has over 25 years of experience in sport administration and is a professor at Humber College in the Sport Business program teaching communications, public relations, marketing, and strategic management.
When the Canadian Women’s Indoor team reached out to Doiron to get involved as a team manager in 2021, for the Indoor Pan American Championships, she was cautious, but excited to join. She said that it didn’t take long to get back into the thick of it.
“It had probably been over 12 years since the last time I had held a managerial role with a team, so I wasn’t totally sure if I could do it again. I only knew three athletes on the team, and on top of that, we were dealing with COVID,” she said. “It’s a jigsaw puzzle, and I’m just one piece trying to play my part. But I do have confidence, experience and intuition.”
Doiron and the Canadian delegation at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio. Photo/Provided
Her experience working with the indoor team was well-worth it. Despite a few challenges along the way, the tournament went well and now Doiron is continuing to support the Indoor National Team as they set up their run to the 2023 Indoor World Cup.
“A good manager doesn’t overstep their reach. I stay in my lane and do my best. I keep boundaries and support the players and coaches as I can,” she said.
For Doiron, the value comes from supporting the athletes and coaching staff. Especially as someone with a lot of experience with Field Hockey Canada and other sport organizations.
“I like being a calm voice for the staff and athletes. I can bring my experience and lead the way where I can,” she said. “I’ve been through the high performance system. I have experience as a player, coach and manager. If I can help provide those experience to others, that’s why I do it.”
“Of course, its special to represent Canada as well, there’s nothing more special than that” she said. “But I’m prouder of myself if the coaches and athletes feel [supported]. Working in sport administration, if you can silently do your job, you are doing well. Everyone makes safely to and from your tournaments, you’re doing your part.”
Doiron has some advice for people in the community that are looking to get involved with the national teams as a manager. One of her first pieces of advice was that you don’t need to have the full package to apply.
Focus on what you are good at, and be willing to learn the rest. She also said that if you are willing to listen to people and want to help people, you are most of the way there. The experience will come. Doiron said she’s worked with many great volunteers that aren’t sport experts, they are simply willing to help.
“If you are looking to get involved on the management side, you don’t need to know all the technical aspects, you just need to be good at problem solving and people management,” she said. “You should have an open mind and be a flexible person. As long as you aren’t saying ‘I know it all,’ but rather, ‘I’m willing to learn.’ Put all that together, you are probably a really good candidate to get involved.”
According to Doiron, anyone can get involved and no one is ever overqualified to get involved. You only need to show up and be willing to ask “what can I do to help?”
Sherry and the Women’s Indoor National Team will be attending the FIH Indoor World Cup in South Africa in February. To follow and support, click here.
Team Managers are integral in our ability to perform on the international stage. We are looking for motivated and organized hockey hearts that are willing to serve one of our national hubs, or one of our junior national teams. To learn more about getting involved as a volunteer and a manager at any level, please visit our managers webpage.