Crucial Time For Hockey Umpires
Two Ghanaian umpires who were recently decorated with International Hockey Federation (FIH) budges have been shortlisted to officiate at the July 11-19 African Under-21 Hockey Championship in Cairo, Egypt, but they first have to pass a mandatory cupa test today.
Hagar Laryea and George Mensah are struggling under the biting heat with more than 37 degrees celcius to make the grade, or risk being flown back to Accra.
Hagar, the more experienced of the two, having obtained her badge in 2005 as against George's last year, is working on her speed to make the mark.
She had to leave behind her baby she is breast-feeding to battle her sudden increase in weight, which has slowed her speed.
She however told the Daily Graphic that with her experience in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, the Cairo challenge should be surmountable.
George, who makes his first appreance at an international competition, is hoping to make the nation proud with a great performance and also to convince Africa hockey big wigs why he should be considered at subsequent comeptitions.
The two will also join a host of other umpires from the continent for a day's seminar, where the experience ones like Ghana's Richmond Attipoe will share their experiences at the World stage.
All shortl-isted umpires will go through a progression endurance race of between 20 and 50 metres and will be increased as they progress.
Each one of them is expected to clock at least level nine, which is close to 100 metres, within a specific time frame, to qualify.
No Ghanaians hockey umpire has ever failed a cupa test.
Story by Daniel Kenu.