USA Field Hockey used the opportunity of a “High Performance Summit” to break ground on the new field for the US National Field Hockey Team. The field is expected to be ready for use this fall, in time for several international games against Canada, South Africa and others. For about a year, the team has been practicing at Queen’s College in Charlotte, N.C. The new field will be 25 minutes to the north on the campus of the University of North Carolina Charlotte. The Belk family, UNCC, and the State of North Carolina in partnership with USFH have been working on the project for several years. This is an effort by all to encourage the attracting of Olympic teams to the city of Charlotte. There are several sports already training full time.
Field Hockey will be the first team olympic sport to set up permanent residence in the city. The United State Performance Center co-founded by Ike Belk and David Koerner have provided the management and development expertise to attract the resources in North Carolina to make it all happen. In addition, they are providing medical and training staff for the team. The campus already houses the strength and conditioning staff for USPC which is directing the US Field Hockey women’s team in its daily fitness and nutritional efforts.
So it was on May 18, 2023 the first phase of construction was marked by a ceremonial ground breaking attended by USFH officials, Chancellor Sharon Gaber, various political officials from the State of North Carolina, members of the Belk family, the team and coaches. Shovels in hand with appropriate hard hats….work was ceremoniously begun!!!
The turf will be made of Polygras Paris GT Zero, which will be the same turf used for the Paris Olympics next year. The material used is a derivative from sugar cane which produce ethanol that is used in the production of the plastic artificial surface. It will need significantly less water to play on and is recyclable. It will be the third new surface installed in the world to date.
There were words of inspiration and instruction delivered by Ike Belk, and David Koerner. Chancellor Gaber noted the partnership and cooperation by all. Coach David Passmore and team Captain Amanda Golini thanked everyone for the facility and were humbled by the inspirational teamwork that brought us to this point and how proud they will be representing the state, the city and the country.
Simon Hoskins the Executive Director of US Field Hockey remarked how this moment is a step into the future for the game of Field Hockey.
The Patriot League was well represented with national team members Amanda Golini, Alex Hamel and Natalie Konerth.
High Performance Summit
All during this the week the women’s and men’s national team coaches met with the top coaches in the country to discuss training methods and the “game” in general. In residence were coaches from all over the country, many of whom provided the training for our current National Team athletes.
Coach Stone was in attendance and I was to visit with my good coaching friends that Pam and I have acquired over the many years that we have been connected to the sport. Our roles as Chairman and Trustee has allowed us to share our enthusiasm for the the game. We were pleased to attend events with Coaches Missy Maharg Carla Taglienti and Pam Stuper and made some new friends like Tracey Fuchs. The enthusiasm of all these Coaches and their dedication is amazing. We all shared our determination that US Field Hockey will have the best chance to succeed in the Pan Games,the Paris olympics and beyond.