Jenny John is the Field Hockey Sport Chair for the Kamloops 2011 Western Canada Summer Games and is considered the “face of field hockey” in British Columbia. She was recognized as such on September 16, 2010 when she was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame at the 42nd Annual Banquet of Champions held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Jenny was notified last December that she was one of nine individuals being inducted to the hall of fame, along with one team — the 1994 B.C. Lions football squad. It was the first time she’d ever been nominated. It usually takes two or three applications before someone gets in, so for a woman to get in and with a minor sport is quite remarkable.
A consummate athlete from the age of five, Jenny’s interest in sports encompassed hockey, netball, badminton, tennis and cricket. Her earliest passion was cricket, which she played at the age of eleven on the Essex county team and later the East of England
Team. Jenny’s interest in field hockey began in her hometown of Essex, where she earned a Physical Education Degree. She came to Canada in 1970 to teach at Norfolk House Private School in Victoria, British Columbia. She obtained her Canadian citizenship in 1975 and in the mid 1980’s moved to Vancouver to further her career.
A self proclaimed “type A, competitive, extrovert” Jenny’s desire to excel comes with a price, namely that of one ankle and two knee replacements. Her strong legs bear the scars of her years of intense competitions however, she speaks of the game she loves and her passion for promoting it with a sportsmanlike attitude. It is evident that Jenny’s aggressive competitive nature is balanced with fair and honest play and instilling that in the athletes she mentors.
Jenny’s extensive, dynamic career includes 21 years as the Provincial Coordinator for the BC Women’s Field Hockey Federation from 1979 to 2000. Her work with BCWFHF has defined and set the high standard for field hockey in BC today. She played the game she loves and worked so diligently to promote for twenty-five years. She has over a dozen coaching and officials’ certificates to her name and has coached over ten different teams ranging from High School to National. She has sat on dozens of committees, umpired for nearly twenty years and taught up to 15,000 classes and clinics over the course of her career. Jenny is also a published author and has written teaching material, field hockey manuals, coaching videos and magazine articles.
After a lifetime of commitment to the game of field hockey, Jenny decided to retire in 2000 and moved to Kamloops. “I knew that I needed to distance myself in order to truly retire. I had friends here in Kamloops and always enjoyed the City when I visited, so I thought this would be the place to do that”. But retirement for this dynamo still includes a strong affiliation with her sport. Aside from her position with the Kamloops 2011 Western Canada Summer Games, she was the National Technical Advisor for the 2005 Canada Summer Games held in Regina, Saskatchewan, is a part‐time Sport Consultant and currently a Director on the Board of PacificSport Interior.
With more than twenty‐five awards to her credit Jenny is taking her induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in stride. Her focus is not on her personal accomplishments but on her relationships with the many volunteers, children and athletes she has influenced; “I have a great life! I get to be the eternal grandmother. Like grandparents I get to have fun with the kids, teach them, train them, then send them on their way and watch them grow”.