We have volunteers in our community that cover many different roles. One of those roles that some may forget about is umpiring. Yes, those hardworking umpires that show up to make sure your games happen are volunteers. Caitlin King is one them.
In 2018 the Marlborough based player/umpire was awarded the Chica Gilmer Scholarship – a scholarship given out annually to talented Under 19 female hockey players or umpires to help them develop their talent. King is a goalkeeper who will be attending the 2019 National Under 18 Association Tournament where she will be playing for Tasman. She is also an up and coming umpire. Over the past four years Caitlin has been appointed as an official at Hockey New Zealand’s National Tournaments, giving her opportunities to development in that area of hockey too. All of this has been on a voluntary basis.
Mike Treloar said of Caitlin’s “Her commitment to umpiring has been immense over the past five years. This has been evident with the high rankings she achieved at previous Hockey New Zealand National Tournaments. In Marlborough Caitlin gave her time to the game without hesitation and became a key mentor within her peers for younger officials coming through”.
We spoke with Caitlin about what she wants to achieve and the opportunities volunteering as an umpire has given her.
Q – What do you hope to be able to achieve through umpiring?
Caitlin – Through my umpiring I hope to be able to develop how I play and my understanding of the game through the different viewpoints gained from umpiring.
Q – What role does an umpire play in the game?
Caitlin – I feel that the role umpires play in the modern game is much smaller than it used to be, however it is more important as we enable the game to flow and be played at a fast pace.
Q – What do you enjoy about umpiring?
Caitlin – I enjoy being able to help develop players understandings of the game and being able to watch and learn new styles of play. I also enjoy that it enables me to give back to my association.
Q – What opportunities have you been provided through your umpiring?
Caitlin – Umpiring has provided me with opportunities to go to tournaments which enables me to make new friends from around the country and further develop my umpiring.
Q – What challenges have you found when umpiring?
Caitlin – One of the main challenges I have found while umpiring is controlling my emotions and not letting things get in my head. Overcoming these challenges has not only helped me become a better umpire but has also helped me in life.
Q – What has the support of the Chica Gilmer Scholarship meant?
Caitlin – The support of the Chica Gilmer scholarship has meant that there is much less financial strain from my tertiary costs, and has also meant I am able to complete my first year of study student loan free.
Q – How does being a player and an umpire give you a good appreciation towards the other?
Caitlin – Being both a player and an umpire has been blessing and a curse. It has given me the perspectives that enable me to understand and react justly to players opinions and has taught me how easy it is for an umpire to miss little calls.
The 2019 National Volunteer Week runs from June 16-22 to celebrate the collective contribution of the 1.2 million volunteers who enrich New Zealand every year. We have hundreds of volunteers throughout the hockey community from those that help out at events to the many volunteer umpires, coaches, managers, administrators and board members. We appreciate everything that they do to make Hockey the sport that it is in New Zealand.
Check out our National Volunteer Week competition: WIN a $500 Kookaburra voucher for a deserving volunteer!