Skip to content

Sara McManus announces retirement from National Team

Field hockey standout from Tsawwassen caps stellar 14-year career
Tsawwassen’s Sara McManus has capped a great 14-year career with the Canadian National Women’s Field Hockey Team. Field Hockey Canada Photo

After 14 years and 216 games, Tsawwassen’s Sara McManus has called it a career with the Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey Team.

“I’ve been considering retirement for the past three years, but there has always been something that kind of pulled me back in, whether it was trying to qualify for the World Cup, the opportunity to work with new coaches or trying one last time to qualify for the Olympics,” she said. “So, our last chance was in January in Spain, and we failed to qualify, so I was like, this feels like time now…feeling confident that now was the right time.”

McManus debuted with the national team in 2011 and made an instant impact as she was part of a near-podium finish at the Pan Am Games.

In 2015, she earned a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in Toronto – a feat not accomplished by the women’s team at the time, since 1999.

She also won silver with the 2012 Junior Pan Am team and joined that squad for the 2013 Junior World Cup. Also, in 2013 she won bronze with the senior team at the Pan America Cup.

She also made her debut at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

“When I think about it, I think about it in parts with different coaches and different teammates,” she said. “Those memories with the different teammate’s standout. It’s the small things like being in the locker room before games, singing the national anthem before games, those small moments are really memorable.

“Probably the biggest moments are the Pan Am Games and winning a bronze medal on home soil and winning the silver at Pan Am Games was really cool. We were within one game of qualifying for the Olympics so that was a big moment as well.”

McManus played for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, helping them win CIS national titles in 2012 and 2013, memories that are also etched in time.

“That was a fun time…but a hard time because I was playing for UBC and the national team at the same time, so it was quite difficult to balance that as well as school,” she said. “Going back to playing in Tsawwassen as well was the foundation for it all. Having some great role models from Tsawwassen, the Short brothers, Ali Johnstone, Mark Pearson – good Tsawwassen people paving the way for me.”

McManus has also tried to give back to the game whenever she could.

“It’s hard with a busy schedule, but we’ve also tried to have a clinic in Tsawwassen whenever possible. Everyone is so supportive, so it’s always fun,” she added.

She plans to take some time now to hang out with family and friends and figure out her next move.

“I’m excited to have some time to do other activities – mountain biking, hiking, trail running camping – all the outdoor things,” McManus said. “Choose my one schedule, not have it chosen for me.”