As usual, our #FridayFocus highlights our Development and Educations programmes. This week it’s a blog post from our UDP Mentor, Louise Knipe.

During the weekend of September, the 14th was set to be UDP Group 12’s second meet of the year. The group had already met at the recent Champions Trophy in Breda in June, however, this weekend was the group’s first practical weekend. Allowing Mentor’s and Mentee’s to show off their umpiring skills in a different environment to their own.

Umpires from Russia, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Belgium and Scotland, all travelled to North East London to attend the East Region Pre-Season Hockey tournament based over 6 pitches and 3 venues over 2 days.

Friday:

Once settled in on Friday evening, the group set about planning their approach to the weekend, arranging appointments, discussing management strategies and decision making processes aided by the videos from the recent Men’s Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup. Our Mentors, Louise Knipe and Hamish Jamson were able to guide us through the video clips, discussing possible outcomes and the process of decision making. This was followed by a breakdown of the new FIH umpire pathway.

Post discussion, we were kindly invited by our hosts East Hockey Umpiring Association for a enjoyable meal at a local Indian restaurant.

Saturday – Game Day

The day started with a thought-provoking seminar presented by our mentors Hamish and Louise alongside current Great Britain Men’s manager Andy Halliday which provided a pragmatic and functional insight into modern umpiring at both international and domestic levels of the game.

Post-seminar and bacon roll, umpires dispersed to their allocated pitches, with both men and women’s games, it was set to be a busy day. All of our UDP umpires were able to umpire a challenging game on the first day.

Following a long day of umpiring in the sun, we again reconvened as a group. This debrief took on a slightly different format to a traditional debrief because as a group we decided we can learn from each other; therefore we undertook a group debrief. We were able to watch back video clips from key points in the game and discuss how we managed the situation and what we could learn from the situation.

In the evening, we were able to join the East Region Umpire Association’s Pre-Season dinner at Old Loughtonian’s Hockey Club, which gave us a great opportunity to mingle with our hosts and other umpires.

Sunday

The group awoke at dawn to set off for our second-weekend destination we arrived at Lea Valley. We had the chance to officiate at this majestic stadium, recent hosts to the Women’s World Cup in August. Hamish and Lou decided to mix the pairs and genders to push each of us to adapt to a new colleague and a new situation. But as all the good things we had to leave from different stations etc to either fly, drive or on Eurostar that would take us home. This incredible weekend has been possible thanks to the passion and the will shared by our coaches. Special mention to Chris Rowe, Jack Warner and Peter Haliday , the East Region Umpires’ Association for allowing us to participate in your wonderful event.

Thank you!

To find out more about the UDP programme, click here