Gold lining for Aussie officials
Published 19 August 2016 (AEDT)
HOCKEY: It might not count towards Australia’s medal tally but there is Australian representation in hockey’s gold medal matches after all.
While the Australian hockey teams bowed out of their respective competitions at the quarter final stage, Australia will be represented amongst the officials on finals day at Deodoro.
Melbourne-based Josh Burt and Queenslander Adam Kearns are two of those officials normally locked out of the big games when the Australian teams are playing, but for Thursday’s men’s gold medal match (6am AEST, Friday) Burt will take his seat on the tech bench as a judge while Kearns has been appointed as the reserve umpire.
In the women’s gold medal match between the Netherlands and Great Britain, highly respected umpire-turned-video-umpire, Lisa Roach, will rule over video referrals. Western Australian technical official Tammy Standley has been appointed as a judge on the tech bench.
“As you can imagine, it’s a huge honour and something I am extremely grateful of receiving,” said Burt.
“The standard of hockey has been awesome.”
“So far, I’ve already been appointed to 12 matches including the semi-final between Belgium and the Netherlands.”
Australian umpire Murray Grime was another that had the honour of officiating in that semi-final.
Burt has been involved in hockey since he was a child and has played, coached, officiated, worked in hockey, and has even managed the men’s Australian team.
“Like most boys growing up I wanted to be an Olympian but I was never the fastest or most skilled,” he admits.
“No I’m not an Olympic athlete, coach, assistant coach, manager, doctor, physio or umpire, but I can proudly say that I am a technical official in the biggest sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games.”
For Standley, her journey to the top began 17 years ago locally in Perth with her first officiating appointments but really gathered pace in recent years.
“I've been doing this a long time now but, in saying that, I feel I've been on such a ride since I had my first Oceania Cup appointment in Stratford, New Zealand.
“It's been an amazing journey and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to represent my country and other technical officials I've had the opportunity to work with over the years.”
Another of Australia’s leading officials is umpire Melissa Trivic, who has umpired five matches in Rio, including the quarter final contest between Great Britain and Spain, and the massive European derby between the Netherlands and Germany.
“It was the first time I’ve umpired this derby,” says Trivic, from Perth.
“The enormity of the match at an Olympic Games hit me in the fourth quarter when I looked up at the stands and saw the crowd,” she explains.
It’s not all been work, work, work, however. The Australian officials took the chance to enjoy a rest day that saw them get little rest as they made it to as many events as possible, adding to their incredible Olympic experience.
“I spent the day with an access all areas card,” said Trivic.
“I watched athletics, basketball, water polo, handball and track cycling. I saw Usain Bolt run his 200m heat and met Cathy Freeman and Patrick Johnson.”
Burt, too, did the tour, managing to squeeze in 11 sports including swimming, synchronised swimming, tennis, fencing, judo and golf. His VIP schmoozing included Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller, Venus and Serena Williams, Cathy Freeman, Anna Meares, actor Matthew McConaughey and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.
In all, Australia has ten officials across the men’s and women’s hockey tournaments. Congratulations to all ten on their Olympic Games.
Australia’s Olympic hockey officials: Joshua Burt (men’s panel of judges), Murray Grime (men’s panel of umpires), Adam Kearns (men’s panel of umpires), Tim Pullman (men’s panel of umpires), Ken Read (appeals jury), Lisa Roach (women’s video umpire), Kylie Seymour (women’s panel of umpires), Tammy Standley (women’s panel of judges), Melissa Trivic (women’s panel of umpires) and Minka Woolley (umpire manager).