When Gleneagle Secondary teacher Brian Lewis was approached in 2000 by The City of Coquitlam to create more opportunities in the community for girls supported through the city’s Gender Equity Grant, there was only one activity he could think of. “I played FH myself and had coached the sport in High School since 1976, so with the support of the City of Coquitlam it was just natural to create a community-based program for Tri-City girls,” Lewis explains over the phone.
Fast-forward seventeen years and Lewis is now president of the thriving Tri-City Eagles Field Hockey club. In 2017, the club consisted of seven ladies’ teams (ranging in ages from 14 to over 50), 16 junior teams (11 to 18 years), six “Mini” teams (eight to nine years) and six “Mite” teams (five, six and seven years). Lewis expects the 2019 season to be just as strong.
Although field hockey may not be one of the top sports watched on CNN, Lewis says it is actually the second most popular sport in the world ranking only behind soccer. “A lot of people don’t realize that outside of Canada, hockey doesn’t mean ice hockey, hockey means field hockey,” Lewis says.
When it comes to healthy pursuits, Brian says the activity stands out in terms of skills acquisition and is a wonderful way to bring together community members of all ages. In 2003 the Tri-City Club created an “Under 10 program” following the model practiced in countries around the world of getting kids started young. “We started out in 2000 with close to 100 kids … Last year we had 450 kids ages five to 18 playing the sport,” Brian explains.
That early training provides the foundation for an endeavor kids can carry through to adulthood; a passion that can be played at the high school, university and professional levels.
Tri-City Eagles Field Hockey is currently taking registration for its April 2019 season. For registration information, visit tcfieldhockey.com.