From Gymnast to Field Hockey Star

From Gymnast to Field Hockey Star: Bishop Ryan's Addison Fletcher Scores $30,000 Scholarship
Posted on 01/24/2024

By Larry Moko

Relative inexperience in the sport of field hockey hasn’t prevented Addison Fletcher of Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School from landing a scholarship to Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester, N.Y.

“I have committed to that school for field hockey and academics,” 17-year-old Fletcher said during signing celebrations in the BR gym Thursday. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

She’ll join the NCAA Division II Redhawks in August with a 4.0 Grade Point Average.

The combined scholarship deal for both academics and sport is worth a total of $30,000 per year American.

Two years ago, Fletcher picked up a field hockey stick for the first time. She was a member of the Celtics 2022 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic championship team. She played again this past season and has further honed her skills by joining club programs in Halton and Mississauga while also attending field hockey camps and clinics in the U.S.

“I’m very proud of her,” Celtics field hockey coach Sara Pavao said. “There are wonderful opportunities in this sport if you seek them out and work for them. Addison did that.”

Fletcher was an elite gymnast for 14 years – most recently specializing in trampoline – before Pavao and BR swim/track coach Mike Hall suggested she give field hockey a try in Grade 11.

Said Fletcher: “I had three ankle surgeries, so I was not able to do that sport (trampoline) anymore. I’m proud to say Bishop Ryan is the place that developed my love for field hockey.”

According to Pavao, girls don’t usually join the BR field hockey team for the first time as seniors.

“When I heard about Addison and her very competitive career as a gymnast and on trampoline, I knew she was going to be able to bring to the team what I was looking for – girls who have a compete mind set.

“It was an easy decision to make her part of the program. I knew she was going to fulfill any role asked of her because she had that experience already as an elite athlete."

Fletcher says she started playing high school field hockey, underwent another ankle surgery, then came back to the sport.

“I played through my recovery, and it definitely helped speed along my recovery. Ms. Pavao gave me a shot. I owe it all to her. She did a good job of teaching me how to communicate with my team and how to play the sport. She also encouraged me to go (compete) outside of school.”

Fletcher was attracted to Christian values of Roberts Wesleyan and its community involvement requirements for athletes. At BR, she is a leader on the Catholic student’s council and works with special education students. Since Grade 9 she has accumulated over 400 Christian service hours.

She plans to major in molecular biology with a minor in pre-med.

Fletcher says she wants to get her medical degree and it's largely because of the inspiration provided by her 20-year-old sister, Brooke, who has Down syndrome.
"I would like to go into genetic research. She's my main influence."

Fletcher's mother, Rebecca, stated “We’re really excited for Addison to have this opportunity. It's a fantastic school."

Fletcher will continue playing field hockey with the Goa Reds club in Mississauga before departing for Roberts Wesleyan.


Photos by Bob Butrym, RFB Sport Photography

Additional Photos of Signing on the HWCDSB Athletics Facebook page