National Volunteer Month: Celebrating the Legacy of Anne Parmenter
By Kelly Blackhurst and Molly McAteer, NFHCA
In honor of National Volunteer Month, we celebrate Anne Parmenter, retired Trinity College field hockey coach and former President of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). During her three-year tenure, Anne played a pivotal role in navigating the organization through a period of transition and change. The NFHCA saw immense growth under Anne’s leadership. She also served on various committees and mentored fellow coaches as an NFHCA Campfire mentor. Anne’s passion for the sport and dedication to volunteerism have left a lasting impact on the field hockey community, and she continues to be an inspiration to coaches and volunteers alike. Get an inside look into the inspiring journey and legacy of Anne Parmenter.
Q: What motivated you to volunteer within the NFHCA?
A: I volunteered at a time when there was a lot of transition and upheaval within the organization. I felt compelled to step up after I had spoken out about some of these goings-on. “Put up or shut up,” I guess!!!
Q: You’ve volunteered a lot for the NFHCA! Can you tell us about the various committees and groups you have been a part of.
A: Firstly, I took over the president’s role, helping Heather Lewis, who was the interim Executive Director, to get the NFHCA back on track. Then I joined the Bylaws committee, the Executive Director Search Committee, the Campfire Mentoring Program, the Ad-Hoc Umpire Task Force, and the Strategic Planning Committee.
Q: What is one thing you learned about yourself during your term as NFHCA president?
A: I learned how to be open to all voices and opinions, welcoming different perspectives with an open mind, and embrace the difficult.
Q: You said, “I have met more field hockey people in the last three years than in the previous 30!!” What do these relationships mean to you?
A: Sharing a common field hockey bond, regardless of which division or level you coach, creates a tight community. Some of my best friends are coaches.
Q: As an NFHCA Campfire mentor, you helped mentor fellow coaches. What about yourself – who was a mentor of yours throughout your successful coaching career, and what was that mentor’s impact?
A: I attended a Physical Education College in England and had some strong female role models who encouraged me to join the first field hockey club I played for in England. These women were the reason I pursued teaching and coaching.
Q: Give us your elevator pitch as to “Why should other members volunteer within the NFHCA?”
A: It took me a long time to realize that as the NFHCA is a member-driven organization, it can only be as good as the members who are willing to step up. So, if you want to make a difference and have a voice, you must take a seat at the table. Many people say they are too busy, but the truth is that by volunteering, you are investing in yourself and your own profession. I also believe it’s your duty to help this organization grow and be successful.
Q: Where do you see the NFHCA five years from now?
A: With Cate as the Executive Director, we are now rapidly moving down a great pathway. Collaboration with USA Field Hockey continues to grow, and ultimately, this growth is necessary for the game to flourish. I hope more schools and colleges add field hockey, and that we see an increase in boys and men playing the sport. I would love to see USA Field Hockey establish a strong presence at the LA Olympics.
Rapid Fire Questions
Q: Most memorable Trinity FH moment
A: Recent memory beating Middlebury this season.
Q: Most memorable moment with the NFHCA.
A: Being inducted into the NFHCA Hall of Fame.
Q: Next mountain you want to climb.
A: Too many to count.
Q: Your top three hobbies outside of field hockey.
A: Rock/Ice climbing. Trail running. Home renovation.
Q: #1 life lesson you learned while coaching
A: It’s about the people, not the game. But the game brings us all together.
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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.