After six years and seventy-eight senior international matches with the Canadian Women’s Field Hockey Team, veteran midfielder Kristine Wishart has called it a career.
The 27 year-old native of Hamilton, Ontario, who played in her first senior international match for Canada in 2010 in Chile, decided it was time to move on after the Women’s National Team recently was unable to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs,” she says from Ontario. “I think I’ve always battled back from those downs. I just always loved it. I just always enjoyed really playing when I had the chance.”
With the prospect of another four-year cycle ahead of her, Wishart – one of the teams eldest athletes – felt it was time to take the next step, passing the proverbial torch to the team’s younger athletes.
“Krissy was someone who gave her all in both trainings and games,” says Women’s National Team director and head coach Ian Rutledge. “The courage Krissy showed over the past few years to fight back from major injuries and then put herself back in selection consideration was inspiring.
“Krissy will be missed from the Program but we wish her the best of fortune in her retirement”.
Wishart was a five-time first team All-Canadian at the University of Guelph, where she graduated in 2009, before joining the National Program that same year.
In addition to the 78 games played, her career with Canada included two appearances at the Commonwealth Games; 2010 in India, and 2014 in Glasgow, when she overcame a serious hand injury to be selected. She also competed in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“My favourite moment always was before you’re about to play a game,” Wishart reflects. “You’re standing there with all of your teammates and your national anthem is playing. That’s always been a prideful moment for me.
“I think I feel like I’ve given a good part of my life towards (field hockey) and I’m excited for the next step in my life and my career.”
Wishart graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Guelph, but is not yet certain what she will end up doing during her post-playing days. She was one of the few players who was so working full-time – in recreations – while playing for the National Team.
That experience will open many doors, and Wishart is excited as the prospect of choosing where she lands.
“Maybe some athletes come out of it feeling like they don’t have any experience,” she says. “But I almost feel the opposite. I could go back to school for so many things or I could pursue so many careers.”
And with the determined and methodical approach that defined much of her career with Canada, there’s only one way she will be approaching the next step.
“I’m just going to kind of chip away at those and see what happens.”