It’s a milestone season for a sports organization that has a rich history in this region.
The Falcons Field Hockey Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary and will reflect on its decades of excellence with a special weekend in June.
It was back in 1968 when Delta Sports Hall of Fame inductee Jurgen Lankau launched what was initially a boys only program.
The response was impressive.
The Falcons typically fielded 25 teams through to the early 1970s and quickly earned a reputation as one of the top clubs in the country.
Numerous Falcon players went to play for the senior men’s national team during those early years including Peter Motzek, Ralph Motzek, Steve Lewis, Brian Foxall, Brett Peterson, Kevin Brennan, Kirk Adams, Doug Preddy, Ross Rutledge, John Sacre, Mike Gunning, Guy Manwaring, Mike Muller and Dave Ancrum.
More recently, Rob Short, Peter Short, Casey Ferguson, Mike Lee and Will Haering were just some of the players to wear Canadian colours. The Falcons eventually launched a competitive girls program, paving the way for the likes of Ann Harada and Ali Johnstone to play for Canada.
Today, Sara McManus, 24, is already one of the most capped players in the history of the women’s national team, having made her Canadian debut when she was just 18.
Brendan Guraliuk and Rowan Childs were recently named to the U18 men’s national team that is headed to Mexico next month for a Pan Am qualifier.
In total, the club has produced 47 players who have gone on to represent their country.
A number of Falcon alumni having also taken their careers south of the border to earn lucrative NCAA scholarships including Lauren Edelmeier (Northeastern), Jenn Melnyk and Gillian Wladichuk (Kent State), Kristie Lau (Missouri State) Shannon Herold (Stanford) and Emma Mackie (Providence).
Delta players have also been fixtures on provincial teams each summer that compete for national championships.
Field hockey is noted for being a great team sport that improves your foot work and hand eye coordination and integrates well with other sports such as ice hockey and soccer.
The club is still accepting registration for the coming season which features games in the Greater Vancouver Field Hockey League for teams U11 and up. For more information visit www.falcons.ca.