On Saturday June the 18th the field hockey world descended on the Union League of Philadelphia to celebrate 100 years of activity. It may have been 4000 years ago that the Egyptians played the game as documented on hieroglyphs. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that Constance Mary Katherine Applebee introduced the game to the United States. She was the co-founder of the American Field Hockey Association, founder of Sportswoman magazine and was the athletic director at Bryn Mawr for 24 years.
She lived to be 107 years old. In the summer of 1901 she took a tour of women’s colleges introducing the sport. In 1922 she established an annual 3 week camp for intensive field hockey instruction at Mt. Pocono,Pa.
She introduced the sport at a time when women were considered too fragile to play an intensive sport. She served many roles for US Field Hockey and was active for many years. Remarkably, there are still “Golden Girls,” who still remember “the Apple”, and many were in attendance Saturday.
Especially poignant was a gift in honor of Shelly Shellenberer by the estate of Grace Reynolds which I had the honor of being her executor. She left a legacy by, donating her entire estate of 2.5 million dollars to the US women’s national team.
The room was filled with US Field Hockey elite and all were attentive during which Steve Jennings ( Head Coach of American University) and “Char” Morrett- Curtis ( Head Coach of Penn State) spoke about the game.
Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey Executive Director presented annual awards to Stanford Field Team and Alumni and Friends for “Grow the Game”, as their efforts prevented the demise of the sport at Stanford.
The national coach award went to High School coach Jill Cosse who has over 500 wins in her career.
The National Umpire award went to Mallory Federoff
The Club of the year went to Gateway Field Hockey Club and Kate Yates
The humanitarian award went to Jeanne O’Brian who helped establish programs for those with phsyical challenges.
In addition, the Hall of Fame added five names to its roles, Barbara Longstreth, Aaron Sher, Larry Amar ( accepted by Abbey his wife), Rachel Dawson and Lauren Crandall Liska.
Pam Stuper, the Executive Director of the US Field Hockey Foundation not only organized the evening along with Amy Crandall, but MC’d the event.
The event was live streamed and demonstrated the strength of the organizations supporting Field Hockey, but charging everyone to help grow the game!!!
The US Team responded on Sunday with a 2-1 win against China, but more about that later!!