New Delhi: Hockey India on Saturday congratulated Rohini Bopanna on being promoted to FIH Technical Official- Advancement Panel and Umpire Gurbaj Singh for being named Outdoor Umpire- FIH International Panel.
Rohini Bopanna started her career as a Technical Official when she first officiated during the 4th Hockey India National Championship (Women) in 2014 where she was involved with the Junior, Sub-Junior and Senior categories. Being a former hockey player herself, the 39-year-old has since then officiated in various domestic and international events. Bopanna considers her first International assignment as a key milestone in her career as a Technical Official which came when she officiated at the 12th South Asian Games 2016 in Guwahati, India. She was also assigned to officiate the 4th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy which was held in Singapore later that year.
Hailing from a family that has hockey in its roots, Bopanna also played for the state of Karnataka in all age groups – Junior, Sub-Junior and Senior level. Her husband, P. Bopanna, also used to play hockey as a Goalkeeper, and has supported the 39-year-old in her endeavour as a Technical Official. In 2019, Bopanna was also appointed as a Tournament Director for the Men’s and Women’s Asia Cup 2019 held in Chonburi, Thailand and was previously also appointed as a Technical Official for the 5th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2018 held in Donghae City, South Korea, after having officiated as a Technical Official at the 9th Women’s Asia Cup 2017 in Kakamigahara, Japan.
“I feel honoured to receive this distinction awarded by FIH. My career in officiating began in 2014 when I was appointed as Technical Official for the 4th Hockey India National Championship (Women). I thank Hockey India Umpiring, Technical and Competitions Committee for providing me with several opportunities to officiate in the past five years that has helped me develop. I also thank my family for their continued support,” Bopanna stated.
Having officiated his first international tournament in 2016 Umpire Gurbaj Singh has joined the elite list of Indian umpires who have made it to the FIH International Panel. The 32-year-old Gurbaj from Kaithal, Haryana was a University-level hockey player but his ambitions of representing India ended abruptly after a serious back injury.
“Despite missing out on playing hockey for nearly two years, I continued to remain passionate about the sport. I took up coaching first and then I started getting interested in umpiring after getting inspired by some of the senior umpires officiating in National Stadium, Delhi,” said Gurbaj.
Currently working with the Haryana Sports Department as Hockey Coach, Gurbaj’s first assignment as an umpire was at the Hockey India Sub Junior Nationals in 2012. Later he officiated at the Hockey India league in 2014 followed by his first international assignment in 2016 at the School Asian Games in Bhopal.
“Hockey India has been extremely encouraging and the courses for umpires and technical officials give us an understanding of the requirements at the international level. I am very excited to be part of this elite FIH International Panel and look forward to taking my career in umpiring to the next level,” he added .
Hockey India’s Secretary General Rajinder Singh, congratulated the Umpire on being promoted to Outdoor- Umpire FIH International Panel. “I congratulate Umpire Gurbaj Singh on being promoted to the FIH International Panel. It is always a proud moment for us at Hockey India when our umpires get recognised by the FIH. It reflects the well-oiled system here that equips umpires and technical officials with courses and clinics that highlight international standards of umpiring and officiating. We would like to see more such youngsters take up umpiring professionally.”