Today, February 3rd, is National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This day is dedicated to inspiring girls and women to play, be active, and realize their full power, highlighting the confidence, strength, and character gained through sports. There are so many women that within the FHO Community that are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of girls in sport and today, we would like to showcase their stories, including this one from Rachelle Seguin of Kingston Field Hockey Club about Claire Lyons and Olivia Craig who have been members of Team Ontario's U18 Teams and have coached with Kingston. Claire and Olivia continue to inspire the next generation through coaching even while attending university.
Claire is a very athletic young woman who has participated in many sports. She started field hockey in grade 8 in 2015 with Kingston's first U14 program.
Claire excelled at field hockey and was one of the most focused and dedicated players. She always gave 100% in practice and she was determined to use time at practice to improve her skills. I had the pleasure of coaching Claire as part of the U18 Ontario East team in 2018. She was an integral part of that team even though she was one of the youngest players. Her skill and game sense allowed us to place her in various positions on the field. Claire also played for Ontario East at Nationals in 2019.
Claire started coaching with the Kingston Royals when she was just 15 years old. She wasn't old enough to take the NCCP coaching courses but she wanted to be involved so she audited them when they were offered to our club. She has worked with brand new players in U12 and then with more advanced players in U15. Claire's love of the game is contagious and she demands the effort that she herself would give if the roles were reversed. I look forward to continuing to coach with Claire when we are able to return to sport.
Olivia first joined the Kingston Royals in 2018. Olivia was a hard worker and always wanted to improve as a goalkeeper. Olivia has left Kingston to study nursing in Ottawa but she returned in the Spring and worked with our younger players. Olivia's kind heart shines through all that goalie equipment and our club was so lucky to have her come back and work with young girls and inspire them to love their role as a GK.
A mother of one of the goalies, Emily, that Olivia coached stated that "Olivia volunteered her time to help develop a young goalie with the Kingston Royals. She was patient, kind, and was someone for Emily to look up to and gave her something to aspire to become."
Photo 1: U14 Team winning a medal at the Nepean Junior Fest in 2015. Photo 2: Claire Lyons playing with the U18 Ontario East Team in 2018. Photo 3: Claire Lyons taking a shot on Olivia Craig as they prepared for Nationals in 2018. Photo 4: Olivia next to Kate Wright at the end of Nationals in 2018.