Young Female Umpire selected for Elite European Programme.

The Irish Hockey Umpires Association is delighted with the recent selection of Connacht umpire, Ellie Duffy (27) onto the EHF Umpire Development Programme (UDP). A number of past graduates of the Programme have gone on to officiate at the very highest-level of world hockey, including the Olympics and World Cup.

Last year, Ellie was selected for the initial Umpires4Europe (U4E) Programme. The U4E Programme is a pathway to UDP and includes mentoring, webinars and practical weekends.

The UDP identifies and targets young talented umpires within the U4E Programme and provides them with a programme of events over a three year period. Ellie was one of three female umpires selected from a group of over 30 European umpires who took part in the ‘Push Tournament’ in Breda, Netherlands at the start of this season. In addition to Ellie’s selection, we are also delighted that Leinster based Tom Goode, will be a mentor on the Programme alongside Caroline Brunekreefe from the Netherlands.

Ellie’s involvement in hockey started as a goalkeeper. Whilst umpiring local Connacht schools matches, members of Connacht Hockey Umpires Association identified her umpiring potential. Ellie then progressed through the provincial structure and more recently she has risen through the ranks to be a regular face in the Women’s EY Hockey League.

IHUA Vice Chairperson, Rob Argent, commented, “We wish to congratulate Ellie on her selection and this excellent opportunity. Ellie’s selection on UDP follows in the recent footsteps of Alison Keogh and Shane O’Donnell and also represents the commitment of Hockey Ireland in supporting these important European Programmes for umpires and umpire coaches. With the development of the new Young Umpire Programme, we need young role models such as this, and we certainly hope this inspires more young people to take up umpiring and to enjoy reaching their full potential in the game.”

If you would like to know more about Ellie’s story, then catch up on a recent radio interview with Ellie on Galway Bay FM.