McKain, Tamer selected as inaugural Redwood Grantees

Jun 15, 2022 | 2021-2022

Keely Tamer addresses Great Lakes Regional Field Hockey athletes.

BROCKPORT, N.Y. — The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Sport Development Committee has selected Gaby McKain and Keely Tamer as the inaugural recipients of the Redwood Grant.

“Calling Gaby and Keely last week with the exciting news felt like the start of something truly transformational,” said NFHCA Vice President of Sport Development, Chrissy Summers. “Gaby and Keely have strong ideas in emerging areas for the sport and I am overjoyed that we can support them, learn from them, and count them as members of our community.”

Gaby McKain founded the first field hockey club in the state of Indiana with two of her former Indiana University teammates. Crossroads Field Hockey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth club program with the goal to grow the game in the state of Indiana through youth development. McKain has been paired with Redwood mentor, Stef Fee, founder of Powerhouse Field Hockey in Pennsylvania.

“We are so grateful for the opportunities this grant will provide our young field hockey players in the Indianapolis area,” remarked McKain. “As the first and only youth club in Indiana, this grant will fund field rentals and essential equipment to help enable our efforts in traveling around the state to introduce the sport to our community. The mentorship aspect of this grant will be particularly helpful, giving us the opportunity learn from those who have had experience in growing the game. We are thrilled for the support of our mission to grow the sport of field hockey in Indiana.”

Keely Tamer is 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 organization emphasizes the creation of thriving field hockey communities throughout the area. Tamer has been paired with Redwood mentor, Lauren Cornthwaite, founder and director of Aim Field Hockey in Missouri.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a recipient of NFHCA’s Redwood Grant,” said Tamer. “At Great Lakes Regional Field Hockey, we look to serve and support field hockey communities by spurring growth and providing the framework for these communities to connect and thrive. This grant will support our intern program, which we have developed to enhance our work while engaging with college-aged field hockey players who we look to as the future leaders in our sport.”

“Having the support of the NFHCA and being connected with a mentor to help our ideas become reality, is an amazing way to support our organization,” added Tamer. “Thank you only scratches the surface of the tremendous gratitude we feel.”

Each of the grantees will receive $2,500 from the NFHCA to support their work and will meet with their mentor throughout the year. They also will participate in quarterly meetings featuring a curated list of guest speakers.

“I am confident the Redwood Grant will provide a model of how to celebrate and support coaches at the club and development level. I’m especially grateful for The Goalie Trainer, United Sports, Texas Pride Field Hockey Club, and Aim Field Hockey for their support of the grant in its inaugural year,” remarked Summers. “In short, I’m proud of the NFHCA and the volunteer-led work we do.”

The Redwood Grant is powered entirely by the generosity of donors — donations will continue to be collected throughout the year.

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 organization is to stimulate the professional development of coaching leadership within the sport of field hockey. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.