February 27, 2024

Susquehanna University head field hockey coach Allison Fordyce will trade roles this summer when she heads to Europe during the XXXIII Olympic Summer Games to be coached by master field hockey coaches from around the world.

Fordyce is one of two coaches selected nationwide for the honor by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.

“The Olympics are the pinnacle of sport,” she said. “I will be surrounded by the highest level of athletes and coaches, yet we are all connected for our love and passion for field hockey. So many of the Olympic players are from Pennsylvania, so I think that seeing our state represented will also be very inspiring.”

Fordyce will first spend several days in the Netherlands attending clinics in Amsterdam and Gouda. She will then travel to France and the Olympic stadium, Stade Yves du Manoir, where she will watch at least two Olympic field hockey matches followed by recaps and tactical discussion with master coaches.

Fordyce was selected for the Olympic honor through a competitive application process — one she almost didn’t enter, she said, on the assumption she wouldn’t win. Fordyce said her doubts and ultimate success should be a lesson for up-and-coming athletes.

“Young athletes today often think they must be a D1 athlete to receive a scholarship or play for the best club to be perceived as successful. I had the same thoughts as I debated applying for the scholarship,” Fordyce said. “I want to inspire my players to go for it — whatever that is for them. I am proud to represent Susquehanna University and our field hockey program, and I think being a coach of a D3 team is amazing.”

In addition to polishing her field hockey skills, Fordyce will also immerse herself in local culture and history with a visit to the Anne Frank House, a workshop on making the traditional Dutch treat stroopwafel and a tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris. She will also take part in a service project: a competitive litter cleanup of Amsterdam’s historic canals using boats made from recycled plastic collected from the canals.

“Part of what makes Susquehanna so special is the importance the university places on cultural immersion and gaining a global perspective. I hope to have an experience culturally that transcends the game,” Fordyce said. “I want to show my players that even at the highest level, we are all brought together by a common bond, and we can all learn and teach each other.”