On Saturday the indian hockey player Deepa and Durga Devi congratulated on being promoted to the FIH Umpires Promising List (Outdoor Hockey) by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), world governing body for hockey. International Umpire Javed Shaikh too was promoted to FIH World Panel (Outdoor Hockey).The FIH announced its decision on Friday.
The 41-year-old Shaikh from Mumbai is presently officiating as Umpire Manager at the Khelo India School Games along with Deepa and Durga Devi as part of the 28-member Technical Officials team delegated by Hockey India in smooth execution of the Games. While Shaikh is a popular face among the International Umpires after officiating in major world events such as the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games as well as the 2014 Men’s World Cup in Hague, and a career spanning over 15 years, 33-year-old Durga Devi will travel to Gold Coast, Australia for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in April.
On the other hand, 26-year-old Deepa is the youngest official from India to be promoted to FIH Umpires Promising List. “It was back in 2010 that I began officiating. It was at the an All India tournament where I first officiated as an Umpire. I always wanted to represent my country at the international level though my playing career did not take off the way I wanted to. Officiating gave me another chance at pursuing my dreams and it is a proud moment for me today that FIH has recognized my efforts,” stated Deepa, who is pursuing her masters in physical education from Rohtak University. She was part of the team that officiated at the 2013 Women’s Asia Cup (U16) in Bangkok, Thailand followed by a Tour of New Zealand for the Hawke’s Bay Cup in 2015.
Durga Devi started her career in hockey back in 2003 from the Sports Authority of India Hostel in Dharamshala. She even represented the Himachal Pradesh state team before taking up umpiring. “It is a proud moment for me to be named in the FIH Promising List. This is a result of years of hard work and Hockey India’s efforts in promoting women as Tournament Officials which was otherwise mostly dominated by men. Hockey India Umpiring, Technical and Competitions Committee has trusted my abilities as an Umpire, given me opportunities and the right direction to achieve in this profession. I would also like to thank my family for allowing me to pursue my passion in hockey even after marriage,” expressed Durga Devi who also works as a Physical Education Teacher at the Savithri Bai Girls School in Greater Noida.