NTU Student and Hockey umpire Harry Collinson Pitch side

NTU Student Harry umpires in Malaysia

First Year NTU Student Harry Collinson has had quite the month. He travelled to Malaysia as the GB umpire at the Sultan of Johor Cup. The under 21s international tournament is a major pathway for future professional hockey players. We asked him to give us the low down on the whole experience.

What do you study? (Course, year)

Business Management and Marketing

Do you play Hockey yourself? If so for who?

Yes, I have played since I was eight. I played at Thirsk School and Thirsk HC until moved to NTU, and now I am playing for NTU M3’s on a Wednesday in the BUCS league.

How did you get involved with being a hockey official?

I got involved in Hockey umpiring when I was 13. After completing a few courses and officiating some tournaments. From there I was put onto the North RYUAG (Regional Young Umpiring Action Group). I did more tournaments and worked up the “Panels” until I was 15, where I was promoted to the NYUPL (National Young Umpires Promising List).

This is the best 25 umpires in the country between the ages of 16-25. I was put on this list a year young, being the first umpire to do so. From here, over the past 2 years I have umpired multiple national finals.

Then, this year in May, I did the National Finals for U16 Boys Clubs at Nottingham Hockey Centre. I was watched by a senior figures in the world of Hockey umpiring who fast tracked me into the world of men’s hockey umpiring.

This gave me the opportunity of going to Malaysia to do the Sultan of Johor Cup, which is an under 21 international tournament, as the GB umpire.

What was the highlight of your time in Malaysia?

There are so many highlights of my time in Malaysia! From meeting umpires from all over the world, we had umpires from Japan, Australia and Singapore to name a few. 

 As well as an umpire manager from Holland, who has umpired at two Olympic Games! Another highlight was the hospitality shown to us. We were put up in a 5* hotel, I even had all my laundry done for free (a bonus as I don’t have to do any now at uni!). The local schools were given a team each which they would support for the tournament, the noise they created for the whole game was incredible! They treated us like celebrities, even asking us for photos with them, bizarre! My main highlight though was getting a top mark in my report and having a good tournament in my first international event!

What was it like officiating being so young and why do you think it is important that the game has young officials?

Being younger than most of the players (it was an under 21s tournament) is always difficult. Since I have 

started nearly every match I umpire people of the same age or older than me. 

The guys playing in Malaysia are international players. This makes it difficult as it is often deadly serious, if they perform well, they can make a profession out of it. Therefore, being the youngest and most inexperienced, I can often find myself a little bit intimidated by some of the players.

This is something which I have worked on and become a lot more relaxed with, having played myself. As the youngest, I needed to prove myself to my colleagues and umpire manager. These are the challenges of umpiring so young; however, there are many upsides. One of them is the fact I am 18, just started university and I have had the chance to have an 11 day all expenses paid trip to Malaysia, in a continent I have never visited before. I also have umpired on many occasions at the Olympic Hockey Stadium in London.

I think it is important that the game has young officials for many reasons; the main reason is that Hockey is fast becoming a young person’s sport. With the arrival of the new “World league” I believe the age of umpires will need to drop.

The age is lowering because of the sheer pace and athleticism shown in the game at the top level. This means that younger umpires will get more opportunities. Having new young umpires in the game, we can learn from the more senior umpires and have a younger, more knowledgeable umpiring generation.

What do you want to achieve in the future as a Hockey official?

The ultimate goal for me is to get to the highest level possible in the umpiring world. Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Cups are the best tournaments, in which I aspire to umpire one day. In the near future, I hope to get my Level 3 and umpire National League in England.

 Contributor – NTU 1st year student Harry Collinson

Follow NTU Sport on Twitter and on Instagram


Get active at NTU Sport

At NTU we have many different ways you can get involved in sport and exercise, and we currently have some special early bird offers in place for you to make the most of.

1. Two early bird gym membership offers:

   a) Early bird Annual Active Gym Membership = £110 (will increase to £140 on 16 October 2017)

   b) 3-year Special Offer (only available between 1 September – 16 October 2017)

Both memberships will give you:

  • Access to two gyms, the City Suite on City Campus, and the Lee Westwood Sports Centre on Clifton Campus.
  • A free gym induction
  • Discounted fitness packages, including Boditrax scans.
  • Unlimited access to NTU Fitness Classes and Blast Sessions, with priority booking. They are very popular and offer a huge variety of options, with classes taking place at City and Clifton.
  • Free hire of our world-class facilities, such as the brand new tennis centre, sports halls, squash courts, and the 3G to have a bit of fun with your mates.
  • Free Play for Fun sessions, which offer an alternative to just going to the gym by giving you the chance to start something new, get back into a sport you love, make new friends and most importantly, have fun!
  • Access to the University of Nottingham’s casual swim sessions for only £2 per visit.

2. At NTU there are 60 sports clubs for students to participate in, catering for every level of experience.

3. Volunteering is a great way to get involved, and we work in partnership with Nottingham Trent Volunteering to offer a huge range of sport volunteering opportunities.

4. We have very popular intramural leagues in Football, Netball and Rugby, where you can enter your own team. Represent your hall, society, course, or simply round up some of your mates – everyone is welcome.

The Sporting effects on politics

With the general election on Thursday, the main focus has been about the NHS, leadership and Brexit. It’s sometimes difficult to hear about some of the peripheral policies and the impact they have. Sport in particular has played a massive role in politics; it has shaped governments and brought about the end to regimes throughout history.

In recent times it has helped bring to light the civil rights movement in America, with Muhammad Ali on the front of campaign, a world champion not being allowed to eat in the same restaurant as others because of his skin colour. Later going to jail for his refusal to fight in the Vietnamese war, stating ‘So I’ll go to jail. We’ve been in jail for four hundred years.’ Here was a man that used his sporting prowess to bring to the forefront the oppression of black people in the US; a struggle still very much existent today.

A sporting boycott as well as an economic and academic one brought about an end to apartheid in South Africa, with the freedom and later inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. It was through rescinded invitations to Olympics and a moratorium on sporting tours, that helped bring about democracy in the former British colony. Sport has the ability to galvanise nations, and their people in a way that nothing else can; take what happened on Christmas Day in 1914, in the foundations of the great war a game of football broke out, with the Tommy’s and Jerry’s returning to trench war a day later.

A little closer to home, the most iconic moment of the suffragettes movement was when Emily Davison threw herself in front of the kings horse at the Epsom derby. This incident was a catalyst to getting women the vote. Sport and politics are intertwined throughout history. In wake of the expenses scandal, It has been hard for our politicians to connect with the everyday person and they are exposing themselves to sporting events in order to give the perception that they are of the people and for the people. However this doesn’t always go to plan, demonstrated brilliantly in the build up to the 2015 general election with the then prime minister in confusion over which claret and blue team his loyalties lay with.

Two of my passions in life are politics and sport and both can have such a profound impact on people. When people say ‘what’s the point in voting?’ Or ‘it won’t make a difference’ it frustrates me. Politics shapes the world. So I ask of you, whoever you vote for, exercise the right that less than 50% of the world population have the right to do.

By Lawrence Uttley (Sport Participation Development Officer)

Don’t overwork yourself

Most blogs you read on well-being inspire you to change your life, with changing your whole diet to eat healthy and taking hours out of your days to fit in a work out. However, mine is simply going to consist of the reality of over working yourself, and how well-being has become something of a second thought to me.

Well-being should be a priority to everyone because it doesn’t only cover your physical health but mental as well. Since aged 16 I began working and ever since it has become a problem that I allow it to override everything else I do.

Physically this affected me the most, and it wasn’t until I got to a bad point that I realised something might need to change. I was working alongside being a student to a very intense 6th form, and began to suffer migraines leading to dizziness resulting in black outs. This left me no choice but to leave 6th form.

I then began a two year college course, that was more chilled, and my well-being was fine throughout. Then I came to university. University has been one of the most emotionally and physically challenging things I have yet had to go through, and being half way into my second year I believe it can only become more of a challenge.

I have continued to work while studying and my promotion to management means added stress, although I am now managing work time and social time a little more, but the massive work load seems to more so take over. Typically I am a student not knowing what to do after studying but one thing I do know is I will need a very long break to relax my mind and body and get my well-being to a place it needs to be.

Second year Sports Education & Psychology student – Female 20

If you have any concerns over yours or anyone else’s mental wellbeing, please visit www.ntu.ac.uk/wellbeing for more information.

The benefits of volunteering

1. Volunteering experience can enhance your employability skills for the future. It can develop skills such as leadership and organisation.

2. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and contacts at university. It can broaden your support network as you will meet a diverse range of people.

3. Volunteering improves social skills and confidence. It can also lead to a sense of pride and identity.

4. Volunteering helps you to stay physically fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

5. Volunteering combats depression. Regular contact with others helps to develop a support system which can help fight against depression.

6. Volunteering strengthens ties to the local community. Volunteers support families, improve schools and support youth development.

7. Volunteering helps you to learn. Volunteering can help you to discover hidden talents that may change your view on your self-worth.

Current Opportunities at NTU

  • Hockey and Lacrosse volunteers – must commit to one coaching session a week for six weeks from 20 February – 31 March, 2017
  • One-off Hockey tournament hosted on Tuesday 28 March, 2017
  • One-off Lacrosse tournament hosted on Tuesday 28 March, 2017
  • Media volunteers to assist with photography, videography and match-reporting for NTU Sport

For further information please contact Sport Volunteering Officer, Stacey Trainer.

Mobile: +44 (0) 115 848 3214
Email: stacey.trainer@ntu.ac.uk

By Joe Junkovic – Student Volunteer