As the deadline for U4E applications nears, we asked one of the programme mentors to answer some questions about his views on the programme and what his experience as a mentor has been like.
Tom Goode (IRL) is one of the mentors for the U4E programme. He retired as an umpire in 2009 and became an FIH UM (Indoor and Outdoor) in 2010. His very first tournament as a UM was the EuroHockey Club Challenge II in Athens in 2010, and his personal highlights include the EuroHockey Indoor Championships in 2013 and 2015, EHL Round 1 in Barcelona in 2014.
How did you start your career as a UM?
I retired from umpiring in 2009 and became a FIH UM (Indoor & Outdoor) in 2010. My 1st tournament was EuroHockey Club Challenge II, Athens, 2010. Since then, I have been lucky enough to be appointed to many tournaments and have many enjoyable experiences. My personal highlights would be EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championships, Vienna (AUT) 2013 & Torun (POL) 2015, EuroHockey Nations Championships II, Vienna (AUT) 2013, Singapore Indoor Hockey Challenge, 2013 and EHL Round 1, Barcelona (ESP), 2014.
How did you become a U4E mentor?
I was approached by Jean Duncan (EHF Education Committee member) following a UM Refresher Seminar in Amsterdam, April 2013 and was asked if I would be interested in becoming a mentor in a new EHF umpiring project. It was to be aimed at those umpires who did not make it to UDP, other umpires nominated by their respective NA’s but what really caught my interest was the opportunity to work with umpires from developing hockey countries.
In the short space of time that this project has been up and running, I believe that we have discovered some very talented umpires, umpires who may never have been discovered had this project not been put in place. This can only be good for our sport. Some umpires have already been promoted to FIH International Umpire!
The U4E stages a big practical weekend every summer in Breda, The Netherlands. Can you tell us more about your experience there last year?
It was an excellent opportunity to work with my group. It was particularly gratifying to see them work so hard, take on board the advice given and develop over the course of the weekend. Given the short amount of time they were together over the weekend, it was interesting to see the interaction in the group and by the end of the weekend, all had become very good friends. We also had the opportunity to record the umpires’ performances and for each mentor to provide ‘voice over’ commentary. To me, this is the most valuable tool that we’ve used. To be able to commentate live on an umpire’s performance is fantastic. The fact the umpire can see and hear what is being said on DVD gets your message across so much easier.
U4E also conducts several webinars throughout the year, hosted by notable umpires and UMs, how effective do you think this is?
The webinars were a fantastic opportunity for the group to see what can be achieved by hard work and dedication. I think it was also interesting for them to hear that it is not an easy path, there will be bad experiences but it is how you react to a bad experience that could determine where your career goes. I would like to thank Marcin Grochal, Laurine Delforge, Elena Eskina and Henrik Ehlers giving their time and sharing their experiences with the group in 2014.
Applications for the U4E programme are now open and will close on March 5th. The programme is aimed at the following umpires:
• Umpires nominated for the UDP but not selected,
• Promising umpires from your country
• Continuing professional development for appropriate UDP graduates
The cost of the programme is 250euro per year. If you would like to apply and join the U4E for 2015, get in touch with your National Association to find out how.
For any more information, email the EHF Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)