The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has selected three Indians to officiate in next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
While Davinder Bhatia has been appointed as a judge, Deepak Joshi and Durga Devi will be seen officiating as umpires.
The 56-year-old Davinder was recently promoted to FIH Technical Official category 3 for outdoor hockey and is delighted that her hard work is paying off.
“I have been a former hockey player with the Indian women’s team that won the gold medal at the 1981 Asia Cup and 1982 Asian Games. The happiness and sense of achievement that I am feeling with my appointment as a judge at the Commonwealth Games is unimaginable.
“Hockey India’s efforts and my hard work have finally paid off. I can still proudly represent my country at the highest level even at this age,” said a delighted Davinder. The two Indian umpires who have been appointed for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games too are proud of their achievement at such a young age.
“I started hockey coaching in 2011 after pursuing NIS diploma course. I got the opportunity to work as a volunteer in the Hockey World League Round 2 in 2013 and Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2013 wherein I officiated in the practice matches. Soon I realised that I can take up umpiring as a career,” said 29-year-old Deepak.
“Getting selected for the Commonwealth Games is the result of hard work and the experiencee I have gained. It is the proudest moment of my life.”
33-year-old Durga Devi, who will also be an umpire at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games added: “I started my playing career in 2003 from the SAI Hostel in Dharamshala, and represented the Himachal Pradesh state team. However, I could not get selected for the National Team and hence grew my focus on umpiring.
“I have had a lot of opportunity offered by Hockey India and this has given me the right exposure to officiate at the Commonwealth Games.”
Both the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams will be seen in action at the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast April 4 to 15.