Jenny van Dyk Memorial Women’s Field Hockey Award

Jennifer van Dyk was a gifted athlete, coach, teacher, daughter, sister, and proud mom who was born and raised in Victoria. Growing up she was an exceptional student and played many sports, but her biggest passion was field hockey.

After deciding to become a teacher, she attended the University of Victoria in 1991 and graduated with her Bachelor of Education in 1995. Recruited to play Vikes field hockey by coach Lynne Beecroft, Jen won 3 National Championships during her time with UVic and made lasting connections and memories along the way.

She earned a place on BC provincial field hockey teams and even spent a summer training and playing with the Women’s National Team. Jen also enjoyed playing field lacrosse, flag football with the Victoria Wildcats, and played for the Sailors Field Hockey Club.

After graduation, Jen moved up Island and taught at Mount Prevost Middle School for 8 years before moving on to become a TBird at Cowichan Secondary for the rest of her teaching career.

Sharing her love of teaching and coaching field hockey meant she became well known in the Cowichan Valley. Her fondness for the game and coaching style endeared Jen to her students and their families – lifelong friendships were made with players from all the teams she played on and coached. Always by her side, Jen’s adored son Leo was a fixture on the sideline with her field hockey family happy to pitch in when needed.

Jen helped coach many winning high school and provincial teams, but she took the greatest pride in helping her students grow and develop as individuals. Whether as a teacher or coach, Jen went out of her way to give her students opportunities for success, especially those who needed a helping hand.

Jen and her famed smile had the gift of leaving someone feeling like being with them was exactly where she wanted to be! Jen gave generously of her time and was known for being ‘always on the go’. Sadly, she passed away unexpectedly in 2019 at age 49.

Jen’s family would like to celebrate and honour her memory by awarding a scholarship to a fellow UVic field hockey athlete. Jen would be delighted that this award will benefit young women who share a love of the game that enriched her life so much, which in turn helped her touch the lives of so many others.

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