Field Hockey Ontario is happy to share the fourth 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 fourth individual, Cathie Croucher.
Please enjoy this write-up on Cathie's Field Hockey experience and what she does in the present, as written by Cathie herself.
I started playing field hockey at the age of 10 years old in St. Lambert, Quebec. The town ran an awesome league with four divisions and two rep teams. When my family moved to Ontario, I played for Team Ontario for 5 years – Junior, Intermediate, and Senior (including the 1981 Canada Summer Games). I played for 4 years for York University, coached for 1 year at Queen’s University, then coached for 33 years at the high school level. I continued playing for the Toronto Gophers for 20+ years, then the Hurricanes, and then moved over to the Halton Women’s League. Pre-COVID, I was still playing in the Halton Women's League.
I have played in Bermuda, the United States, Scotland, and Germany. I have also taken school teams to Bermuda and Cuba to play.
I chaired three OFSAA Field Hockey Championships, was part of the SAC Field Hockey for 12 years, and volunteered at 3 other OFSAA Field Hockey Championships (most recently in 2019). I volunteered at the 2015 Pan Am games (men’s and women’s field hockey), the Junior Men’s Pan Ams, and the last Nationals in Toronto for the U15 and U18 age groups. I was still umpiring and assigning umpires in York Region until COVID hit.
I have seen so many changes since 1970 – gone are roll-ins, bullies, offside, and penalty bullies. Equipment lasts longer; it's safer (for goalkeepers definitely, and for defense on penalty corners too). The game is faster, transitions are smoother, and substitutions are limitless. The high ball has been in, then out, then in.
I am now retired from teaching, but still physically active – curling, skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skating, hiking, biking, boating, walking, tobogganing with my grandchildren, and yoga.
When asked what Cathie sees as the next steps for the game of Field Hockey, she answered: We need to develop and encourage coaches who can continue to expose young people to the game. We need to expose both males and females in elementary schools to get more support for the game. We need to encourage the building of more multi-use turf fields in communities.
Thank you, Cathie, for sharing your experience with the FHO Community. Now you know where Cathie is now!