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SA officials fly the flag with pride

The 2009/2010 has been another exceptional year for South African hockey’s technical officials on the Wworld stage. South African hockey is well respected on the international front, as a leader in the technical field.
Sheila Brown (SAHA vice-president) a seasoned and extremely experienced technical official, was appointed as Tournament Director for the Women’s Champions Trophy (top six countries) tournament in Nottingham, England, and then went on to head up the Women’s World Cup in Rosario, Argentina, an extremely prestigious appointment.

The late, Paul Richards, was appointed as the Tournament Director to the Azlan Shah tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia in April this year.

Clive McMurray is extremely busy at present with drafting a new revised umpire grading and career path system for international umpires and umpire managers for the International Hockey Federation. A huge task at hand for Clive, however this merely highlights how the world sees South African hockey people. Clive was appointed as the Umpire’s Manager for the Champions Trophy tournament in Melbourne, Australia in December 2009, and then led the Umpire’s Management team at the Men’s World Cup in Delhi, India in March 2010, under some trying circumstances.

A milestone of 200 international matches was achieved by Marelize de Klerk at the Women’s World Cup in Rosario and she went on to umpire her umpteenth final at this tournament. Marelize also umpired at the women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament in San Diego.

Deon Nel performed outstandingly well at the Men’s Champions Trophy in Monchengladbach, Germany in August, where he umpired the final between Australia and England.

Michelle Joubert, one of the country’s up and coming young umpires, has had an exceptional year. She umpired in no fewer than four international tournaments this season, inluding a long trip to Chile for the disrupted Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament as a result of the natural disaster that rocked the country just prior to the tournament. She was also at the Women’s Champions Trophy in Nottingham, England, where she umpired a semi-final.┬á A very successful Women’s World Cup for Michelle saw her umpiring in her first major women’s event, where she went on to umpire a semi-final between The Netherlands and England, whilst being appointed as the reserve umpire for the final.

Peter Wright, was appointed as a neutral umpire for the Hamburg Masters tournament in Germany in April, where he was appointed to umpire the final between Germany and India. And 2010 ended on a high note for Peter, when he was appointed to umpire the final between Australia and India of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, another outstanding achievement.
Gary Simmonds umpired at his first World Cup in Delhi, following his very successful 2008 Beijing appointment. Gary performed well throughout the World Cup and ended up officiating the third/fourth place play-off. Simmonds’s other passion is indoor hockey which has also seen him umpire at the Pan American Games in Venezuela where he umpired the final.

The 2009 Champions Trophy tournament in Melbourne, Australia, saw John Wright umpire in the final between Australia and Germany. John was then appointed to umpire at the Men’s World Cup in Delhi, where he went onto umpire the final between Australia and Germany.