Leinster hockey welcomed a number of new faces last weekend as the province played host to several young umpires (pictured) from the European Hockey Federation’s Umpire Development Programme (UDP).
It is the fourth year that the Leinster Hockey Umpire’s Association have supported the programme, allowing the group to experience a variety of different games with each umpire officiating a match under the watchful eye of mentor Ray O’Connor.
For others, such as Scot Sarah Wilson and Slovakian Michal Margolien, it was a chance to taste some top Irish hockey, taking charge of Old Alex against Randalstown and Corinthian’s tie with Lisnagarvey, respectively, in the Irish Senior Cup.
Nelma Dias from Portugal enjoyed Beaufort senior 2 against Mount Anville while Slovenian Saso Sukic oversaw the local men’s division three derby between Corinthian and Three Rock Rovers’ second string.
Three Rock Ladies’ whistle-blower Alison Keogh continued her work in ladies division two battle between Loreto and Our Lady’s while Margolian and Wilson teamed up for a second time on Sunday for and U-16 fixture between Corinthian and Avoca.
The programme aims to support these new umpires as they progress from 2010-2012. This was the group’s first practical session together, giving mentor O’Connor an opportunity to see them individually, before offering them some advice from his wealth of experience.
Each group member found the weekend to be immensely helpful and were delighted with the reception they received while in the country.