1st July 2016: The EHF’s Top TDS Seminar came together for a Seminar during the Hockey Champions Trophy in London last weekend.

The Agenda, which was based around workshops, presentations and practical sessions, as well as sharing knowledge ensured that our Top TDS, who rarely get together as they are busy officiating all over Europe, could spend time in session as well as have informal discussions about their experiences.

It was a fantastic opportunity for this group to be a part of the FIH Academy‘s work and to understand better the workings of the Academy and it’s ambitious target to develop Worldwide Educators, and how that sits in the strategy of the Hockey Revolution!

With a full Agenda ahead, the Conductors, Edna Rutten and Bjorn Isberg introduced the line-up and the group were welcomed to the Loughborough University London Campus by Sally Munday, CEO of England Hockey, who spoke about how pleased England Hockey is to have such a fantastic legacy venue at the Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Centre in Olympic Park. She spoke about the future plans to build on the relationship with BTSport and the implications for hosting major FIH and EHF events. Sally was thanked for taking time from her busy schedule to welcome the delegates!

Day 1 then formally started with a presentation from Andre Oliveria on the FIH Academy and how it sits within the Strategic plans of the FIH. As the FIH Academy was also running other Courses during the weekend, an impromptu visit from Craig Gribble, UM for Rio and FIH Competitions Manager Martyn Gallivan sparked a very interesting conversation on reporting and the role of Educators, which was very welcomed by the group.

Next up, Sue Catton, Events Manager for England Hockey presented to the delegates from a hosts perspective and the changing face of hockey events. The new model of the FIH, where the TD role is more defined and focused mainly on the on-pitch activity and management of the Officials team was very informative for the group. Discussions around how the number of meetings could be consolidated took place. Sue was thanked by Edna on behalf of the group, the relationship between the host and the TD is critical and to understand what the host needs from the TD was really well explained by Sue, defining the roles and responsibilities.

Siobhan Madeley, EHF Communications Manager then closed Day 1 with a presentation on the role of TMS/AltiusRT not only for the Technical Table but also for the use on Social Media, the Media and for fan engagement.

Day 2 started with a early wake up call (the smoke alarm on Floor 3) for many of the delegates! Thankfully there was no fire, but a double helping of coffee over a working breakfast was required by some!

Siobhan Madeley finished her presentation on Working with the Media, essential for Top TDs.

Iain Mc Kay then presented a fascinating session on when things don’t go to plan! Some shared experiences were exchanged which was very useful for the delegates.

Next up, Bjorn Isberg with Edna presented an interactive session on Protests and Hearings. Always fascinating and Bjorn fresh from a protest at the Men’s CT – the message was loud an clear, no matter what external factors are going on, follow the procedures as laid down in the Regulations!

A wonderful interactive session and then a practical pitch side session followed with Philip Schellekens on the Marking of UM and Umpires. Expertly explained and with Philip’s renowned sense of humour!

Before dinner the delegates were back in the classroom evaluating their ‘umpires’ and testing themselves on Protests and Hearings. The main emphasis here was on sharing knowledge and experiences.

A rather more leisurely start to Sunday with an 8.30 breakfast and a classroom session with Iain Mc Kay asking the TDS to all work with eachother to find solutions to real-life tournament experiences.

The final guest speaker was Andy Halliday, current GB and England Hockey Manager. A fascinating insight into the perceptions and demands of Managers on TDs and vice versa. A frank, open and honest session, with many questions and challenges highlighted. A huge thanks to Andy for taking the time to present on a Sunday morning!

Finally Edna closed the Seminar, a bit later than programmed!  A working group was established to relook at the TD Toolkit on the EHF website. Edna also reminded the Top TDS of their mentoring role when they are appointed as TO to a more inexperienced TD, and how they should approach this appointment.

Speaking about the Seminar Edna said she was “delighted with the outcomes. It’s been 4 years since this group had been together and the challenge now is to maintain the high quality of the education of our officials into the future”

Christian Deckenbroek said ‘It was lovely to be back in London. To share experiences, we had fantastic interactive sessions and overall this will help us to be consistent at tournaments. Barbara Morgan added that it had been “A great weekend. Edna and Bjorn had done a fantastic job. They had opened up a lot of avenues to understand eachother better with bringing in Sue Catton and Andy Halliday.”

The Seminar closed and new friendships and working relationships were firmly established.

The EHF cannot thank enough our Volunteers who give up of their time both to arrange, present and act as TDS on our behalf. So thank you all…