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Trevor Thomas named as Hockey NZ finalist for Community Umpire of the Year Award!

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Auckland Hockey Umpire’s Association umpire Trevor Thomas has been named a finalist for the Hockey NZ Annual Awards for the Community Umpire of the Year Award. AKH caught up with Trevor following the announcement as one of three finalist for the 2022 edition of the Annual Awards, which will be held online in April.

Trevor’s umpiring journey first started at North Harbour in the winter of 1993. Trevor says “wife Val had just moved back from Germany and we were living in Birkenhead. Val joined the Northcote United Hockey Club and I got roped in to coach them. I remember being disillusioned with the umpiring standards and making a complaint…’Do you think you could do it better?’ was the response and the rest is history”. Hockey is in the Thomas blood too, with the Thomas clan seen almost daily around LEP in their various umpire, club and AKH roles!

When asked what his most memorable tournament was, Trevor said it “would have to be the NZ Masters 2020 in Christchurch. I got to do the Men’s 55s final with good friend Ray Close, Auckland vs Tauranga. I had to change my flights at the last minute as my original booking was at a time prior to the final starting. I came into this tournament with a plan to pace myself and achieved a number of performance goals along the way”.

“I don’t really have a most memorable game as there’s so many. However, the games I get the biggest kick out of are the ones involving the least input from umpires. Where the players want to play the ball and they accept every decision. You can see them buzzing after a clean and fair hard fought game which makes the “after-game” all the more enjoyable”.

“My proudest umpiring achievements would have to be around the development of junior umpires. I ran the JUMP programme (Junior Umpire Mentor Programme) at LEP for about 5 years prior to the clubs taking it over. Some of the feedback from parents blew me away. They were seeing their kids become much more decisive, more confident and better equipped to deal with all sorts of situations. Watching these kids putting feedback into action during a game also gave me immense satisfaction. There’s still a mountain of challenges for junior umpires, particularly from coaches and players parents but getting them to reflect on and analyse their performance is a great character builder”.

Looking ahead to the 2022 season Trevor’s greatest hope is “for none of the interruptions that have plagued our game over the last two seasons. Let’s see our tournaments completed, a complete school, club and Intercity programme and finally, less work for Neil in the Judiciary! Also looking forward to catching up with many of my hockey friends for reflection and refreshments”.

Trevor is pictured below with Jude Menezes (now Japan Women’s Coach) and daughter/co-umpire Cat Thomas. Congratulations Trevor on your nomination as a finalist for the Hockey NZ Annual Awards for the Community Umpire of the Year Award. We look forward to and wish you all the best for the awards and the coming season!

To find out more about umpiring or to sign up for our next Learn to Umpire Course, click here.

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