A Look Back at the NFHCA Redwood Grant’s Inaugural Year
DURHAM, N.H. – The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Redwood Grant was launched in 2022 with the goal of supporting and empowering coaches in the field hockey community. As the grant program enters its second year, it’s time to take a look back at its first year of impact and success.
Gaby McKain and Keely Tamer were selected as inaugural recipients in June 2022, and saw great strides in their programs with the help of the Redwood Grant which provided mentors from the NFHCA and the needed support to encourage the growth of the game in their regions. We had the opportunity to chat with one of the inaugural recipients, Keely Tamer, the executive director of Great Lakes Regional Field Hockey, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission to serve and support the field hockey community in the Great Lakes region.
The Inaugural Recipients
“The Redwood Grant allowed us to hire summer interns. Our interns helped develop our understanding of the youth sports landscape in the region, helped connect us with field hockey clubs and programs throughout the region, and created programs and communicated with new areas on our behalf. Additionally, we shared information with our interns on how our organization came about, what responsibilities we have as a non-profit and other organizational information. We hope to empower our interns to see how it can be possible to stay involved in the sport and create impact in their community.” – Keely Tamer
Lauren Cornthwaite, founder and director of Aim Field Hockey in Missouri, was Tamer’s personal mentor during the year. Lauren Cornthwaite and Tamer connected over multiple phone calls and events. These conversations generated information sharing, solution finding, and support.
Gaby McKain, an inaugural Redwood Grant recipient, founded the first field hockey club in Indiana called Crossroads Field Hockey, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth club program with the goal to grow the game in the state of Indiana through youth development. McKain was paired with Redwood mentor, Stef Fee, founder of Powerhouse Field Hockey. The grant helped Crossroads Field Hockey fund field rentals and buy the essential equipment needed to grow the club and provide the best for the athletes.
What is the Redwood Grant?
The Redwood Grant is the brainchild of the NFHCA’s Sport Development Committee. The goal is to provide better intellectual and financial support for clubs and club-adjacent businesses and nonprofit organizations. The name was inspired by redwood forests which are remarkably tall and resilient because of their wide and interconnected root system. Similarly, the Redwood Grant’s mission is to support our remarkable community through meaningful connection. Chrissy Summers, the past NFHCA Vice President of Sport Development, expressed how much this past year has taught her and is excited to continue strengthening the sport development arm of the NFHCA. Summers believes the key to success in growing the game is being open to connections and being intentional in lifting others, especially coaches of color or those building programs in non-hockey locations.
“If you have an idea, don’t keep it inside. Ideas get better through collaboration. We have brilliant minds in this community, and by sharing we all grow. Finally, apply for the Redwood grant; we want to see you succeed.” – Chrissy Summers
Redwood Grant applications close on March 31. Anyone is welcome to apply, but an NFHCA membership will be required if selected. Special consideration will be given to those in new growth areas for the sport and those serving underrepresented identities.
Donations to support the Redwood Grant are currently being collected. The Redwood Grant is powered entirely by the generosity of donors.
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the association is to champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. The NFHCA strives to be the organization that every field hockey coach looks to for the resources to grow in the game and the inspiration to stay in the game.