Field Hockey Ontario is happy to share the second of many posts in our new series of content titled "Where are they now?" This series will highlight alumni from FHO, their playing, coaching, and umpiring careers, and what they are doing now. We are happy to introduce our second individual, Glynis Peters.
Please enjoy this write-up on Glynis's Field Hockey experience and what she does in the present, as written by Glynis herself.
High School: one season in Grade 7 at Lachine High School in Montreal which included a skills clinic: “The Canadian National Coach, Miss Melba Johnson, in September spent a most entertaining afternoon with us by showing us the finer points of the game.” I mostly learned in the kitchen with my father who had played in England. My next high school did not have field hockey so nothing more with stick and ball until University.
University: U of T - 4 years – (I am holding on to that one year of eligibility.) Three CIS Championships and one win.
Team Ontario: 5 years including 1997 Canada Games Team – Gold Medal in Newfoundland
Club: The Gophers with whom I played before leaving Canada and upon my return from France; in the league, in many tournaments and at the Masters.
Team Canada – ah the joy in being asked to attend the first centralization camp out in BC in 1979… near the very end as a last possible addition to the team. Brilliant experience… especially rooming with the late and extraordinary Sally Manning. Not making the team made it easier to head off traveling in Europe that same year.
France: 5 years. CASG Stade Jean Bouin in Paris, First Division Club Team. National Indoor Champions in 1983.
Glynis is married to Yan Huckendubler, a “souvenir” she brought home from France, where they fittingly met at the hockey club. Her last foray onto the pitch was at the 1997 Masters with the Gophers. It was a year after a bad bike accident and she hadn’t planned to play but dressed anyway to blend in. A sudden need for a substitute and she couldn’t resist, but seeing two balls at once and dropping the stick on contact proved her playing days were over.
She continued to stay involved, coaching Colonel By High School in Ottawa for a couple of seasons, volunteering with Field Hockey Canada, and now looks forward to being more involved with the growing Chelsea Phoenix Field Hockey Club, started by Ian Bird, in her own back yard.
After several years of adventure in England and France, (which included an expedition to Mount Everest from the Tibetan side), Glynis returned to Toronto with Yan. The week she returned she left the new immigrant and headed off to the Bermuda Bacardi Tournament with the Gophers!!
A field hockey teammate from U of T, Wendy Grater, offered her the position of Manager at Trailhead, an outdoor equipment store. There she was able to join in some of the trips run by their sister company, Blackfeather: kayaking in Greenland and Nunavut and also take part in a second Himalayan expedition (four months!) to K2.
Deciding to move to Ottawa, she applied for a hockey job – ice hockey – and became the Manager of the Women’s Hockey Program for Hockey Canada. This was a new position, created after the first recognized World Championship in 1990. She stayed for eight years, culminating in her role as Team Leader at three World Championships and then when women’s ice hockey made its first appearance at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games. In 2003 Hockey Canada presented her with the Breakthrough Award: in honor of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the promotion and/or development of female hockey in Canada. Prior to that, in 1998 she shared the Women and Sport Breakthrough Award with Head Coach of the Olympic Team, Shannon Miller. The award is presented to individuals whose contribution has had a long-term and significant influence and has broken down barriers to equal participation for girls and women in sport and physical activity.
She volunteered for the Canadian Olympic Committee at the 1999 and 2000 Olympic Games and was hired by Sport Canada as a Program Officer where she spent the next 17 years until retirement in 2017. During that period, in her role as Manager of Major Games, she attended many international and national competitions, including the 2001 Canada Summer Games, where life came full circle as she was asked to give the silver medals to Team Ontario, with several players pointing out “you played with my mother!”.
After retirement, she volunteered for the organizing committee of the 2018 Gold Coast (Australia) Commonwealth Games, where she asked to be assigned to the Field Hockey venue, in the Games Family area, where she met many old friends and made new ones in international hockey.
Very active up until her bike accident, she played squash, tennis, ice hockey, rock climbed, sea-kayaked, hiked, cross-country skied (several World Loppets), and ran four marathons. She continues to walk, do gentle yoga, and cross-country ski but is now passionate about golf and volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors at her local club.
In closing, she said “Field hockey has been the golden thread throughout my life. My parents met playing hockey. I made friendships that have stood the test of time. We still hold reunions of the Gophers and I can probably repeat some of our more iconic stories verbatim. I met my husband at a hockey club, and he has been involved as a volunteer with FHO, FHC, PAHF, and FIH since he moved to Canada. I have experienced some of the greatest high points in my life, playing, spending time with teammates during the post-game “debrief”, traveling, coaching, and watching, especially as the game has evolved. I have been so privileged to see hockey played at the very highest level and the joy and pride of seeing our Canadian teams in action.”
I truly think it is the best sport in the world……