Former U.S. field hockey star Katie Beach now do-it-all owner of Windy City Field Hockey
Owner and director
Beach reached the pinnacle of her decade-long international field hockey career in 1996 when she played on the U.S. team in the Olympics in Atlanta. This year’s Summer Games in Rio rekindled memories from when Beach was a 20-year-old center defender playing in front of huge home crowds that included family and friends. “The Olympics are going on now, and it is almost surreal to think, ‘Yeah I was there 20 years ago, ’ ” Beach said. “What an amazing time the Olympics were in my life. That is part of the reason I have just a passion for the sport, and I want to give girls an opportunity to play this sport.” Beach purchased Windy City Field Hockey (one of the nation’s largest field hockey clubs with about 2,700 members and 300 to 700 kids participating in any given season) four years ago and switched to the SportsEngine platform two years ago. Beach grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s field hockey hotbeds, but didn’t grab a field hockey stick for the first time until she was a freshman in high school. Also a basketball and track and field star at Wilson High School, Beach’s field hockey skills caught the attention of the University of Maryland. She was a two-time first-team All-American and two-year captain for the Terrapins, and by the time she was a sophomore she had already secured a spot on the national team.
Beach’s fingerprints are on most every aspect of the club and its website, most notably the Katie’s Korner section where she regularly shares her thoughts on a variety of topics. “I started that just because of my background in the sport,” she said. Beach’s blog offers training tips, updates on team and player accomplishments, new equipment, tryout dates and anything else at the top of Beach’s mind. “It’s kind of a hodgepodge spot on the website where I can go to write what I’m thinking about.” She built out the Staff section using the tab element to create sections for Owners & Directors, Travel Coaches and Roots, Select & Academy Coaches. The Team Shop includes packages of items specific to each of the different levels offered by the club.
Beach shows her pride in the former Windy City athletes who have gone on to compete in college by keeping the College Commitments section of the site updated. “Part of the reason it is there is for bragging rights,” she said. “We want to show how for all these girls their hard work has paid off.” She said the page also helps inspire younger club members. “They go on there and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know you could play field hockey in college or beyond.’ ” One last thought on the Olympics from Beach, who said the opening ceremonies, by far, provided her with her most memorable moment. "I realized then I had reached the most remarkable point in my career," she said. "I had chills all over my body. There are so few works you can choose to describe that moment."