LAHORE, Sept 27 (APP): Pakistan’s first ever and only international hockey umpire, Binish Hayat believes that greater efforts are needed on part of Pakistan hockey federation to groom female hockey umpires to represent the country at international level.
“At the moment we don’t have any other international female umpire except myself and what is needed, is to work on a long term plan under the banner of PHF to develop a group of female hockey umpires”, she told APP in an exclusive interview here on Tuesday.
Binish is the only female umpire who got the status of international umpire by International hockey federation (FIH) in 2013 and since then she has supervised five international women hockey events including AHF Cup in Singapore in 2012, Women Challenge Cup in Thailand in 2013, Asian Games qualifying round in Thailand in 2014, Junior Asia cup qualifying rounds in China in 2015 and SAF Games in India in 2015.
She will now be supervising the matches of qualifying rounds of the Asia Cup being played in Bangkok from October first.
“It is going to be the sixth international assignment of my career in five years and I look forward to it to justify my selection and to perform to best of my abilities”, said Binish who took up umpiring after serving Pakistan hockey from 2003 to 2011 as a left out and represented the country in 10 international matches.
She said it is a matter of great pride for her being the first ever female hockey umpire and she wants to further progress in her field to officiate as umpire in Women champions trophy women hockey world cup and Asian women champions trophy in years to come.
Binish said the present regime of the PHF headed by Brig retd Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and Secretary, Shahbaz Ahmad are taking keen interest in the revival of women hockey and that is why Pak women team is playing the qualifying rounds of the Asia Cup after three years.
“There is dire need to revamp and develop women hockey on sound lines and the more women hockey activities will take place more players will show interest to take up umpiring after finishing their hockey career”, she said adding “It is quite unfortunate that we don’t have a group of female national hockey umpires”.
Binish said another female umpire Nageen Babar will be accompanying her to Bangkok to officiate in her first international match during the qualifying rounds of the
Binish is running “Canex hockey academy” in a school of Burki, close to the border area with the financial assistance of a Canadian business house for the last seven months.
“Nearly 70 girls of 8-13 years of age are attending the academy and we are providing them all the playing facilities including pick and drop service”, she said adding “the prime objective of activity is to provide equal opportunity to women folk to play hockey at grass root level”.
To a question, she said her ultimate aim is to stand as an umpire in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women hockey event.