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A future umpiring star

BEN WALKER - THE FUTURE OF UMPIRING

It is no surprise to anyone at the club that there is a shortage of umpires.  The most common reason I get for someone not being able to umpire is ‘I’ve never done it before’.  Until last year's summer league, then 13 year old Ben Walker hadn’t either.  This didn’t stop him putting his hand up and volunteering to do some games so others could play.

Move on a year, and despite playing in goal more than once a week on numerous occasions he has still offered to umpire most weeks.  Back in June he attended an East Region Young Umpire training day at Old Loughts HC.  Not only an enjoyable day with similar aged people new to umpiring, Ben flourished and was invited to umpire at the qualifiers for the London Youth Games at the end of June.  His performance there led to him being invited to the finals later this month at Crystal Palace Sports Centre.  Congratulations Ben.

I personally want to thank Emma and David for supporting him with his umpiring adventures so far and of course Ben for having the courage to pick up a whistle when he is surrounded by those more experienced in hockey that choose not to.  He is setting an example we can all follow.

And in case there are girls reading this thinking ‘but he’s a boy’, I umpired a summer league game this year with Charlotte Wellings who controlled the game from start to finish and on top of all of her other hockey commitments I will be working on her getting involved in more umpiring as well.  I just haven’t told her parents yet!

As ever, if you are interested in having a go, talk to me.  We will have a lot of pre-season friendlies in September when we will be providing both umpires for home games.  An ideal opportunity for everyone.

Many thanks Adrian Hull (Umpire Liaison Officer)