As the European Hockey Federation announced on January 8th, new committees have been selected and have already began their 2 year working cycle. But it is important to remember those members who retire from a committee, specially those who leave an indelible mark on a project. We turn our attention to a very special former Education Committee member, Jean Duncan, who for the past four years has been the lead of the Umpired Development Project (UDP).
The project began in 2007, under the lead of Ray O’Connor, Margaret Hunnaball and Ermanno Silvano, who together guided the program and even mentored the first UDP group. After four years of closely working to get the project up and running, Jean Duncan joined the Education Committee and became the UDP’s the sole lead.
Jean had a tremendous career as an umpire, umpiring at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, two Hockey World Cups (Perth, 2002 and Madrid, 2006) as well as a Champions Trophy in Macau, China in 2002. She received the Golden Whistle Award from FIH in 2009. Jean went on to become an Umpires Manager, most recently being appointed to the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London in 2015. As a high-level umpire and umpire manager, Jean brought all her knowledge and hard-working ethic to the UDP.
Paul Box-Grainger, Chair of the Umpiring Working Group of the Education Committee points to Jean’s attention to detail and commitment to her work as her most prescient qualities as he tells us, “Jean has been instrumental in taking the UDP forward. She was pivotal in the committee’s work on developing a 3-tier strategy, which continues to be at the very core of the EHF’s Education strategy. She has a fantastic work ethic, and has been a wonderful ambassador for UDP, always ensuring that she followed the progress of all the UDP umpires, and celebrating their successes. Her efforts are clearly reflected as the programme has been so successful, evidenced in 2015 by two statistics – three UDP umpires were selected for the Rio Olympic Games, and EHF received an astonishing 22 applicants for the next UDP group starting in 2016 .”
Jean was also involved in the push to clarify the UDP selection process, implementing a more rigorous system to insure integrity and transparency.
Carol Metchette has worked closely with Jean, as one of the mentors for the UDP, and she shared with us her experience working together: “Jean was inspirational in her role as UDP lead. She used her experience and knowledge as a top umpire and UM and shared it with us all. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes and as a mentor. Her enthusiasm and fun was an inspiration to us as mentors and to the participants of the various groups who attended the seminars. She will be missed!”
Marijke Fleuren, EHF President added, “Jean has done a tremendous job. Of course we know her skills as an Umpire and Umpire Manager, but for me was very special the dedicated attention she gave to all the participants. Her pupils for life!”
The European Hockey Federation would like to offer its deepest thanks to Jean Duncan for all her hard work these past 4 years and wishes her the best in the future projects.