A ‘PRIVILEGE’ TO WORK AT SOUTHEAST ASIA GAMES

Ice Hockey UK referee-in-chief Joy Johnston says it was a “privilege” to be part of the first ice hockey tournament in the Southeast Asian Games.

The games are a multi-sport event involving participants from the 11 countries of Southeast Asia and are held every two years.

This year was the first time winter sports had been included in the event and the gold medal for ice hockey was won by the Philippines, with Thailand taking silver and Malaysia claiming bronze.

Johnston, who was the officials’ supervisior, said: “It was a great honour to be part of the Southeast Asia games. It was a privilege to be there to supervise for the first ice hockey tournament in the games.

“I’ve worked a lot with officials in Asia and the great thing is they work incredibly hard. They are passionate about officiating and do a great job.

“We had a fun week with the games and, as always, made some good friendships.

“The Malaysian ice hockey federation did a fantastic job of hosting the event and the new facility in Malaysia is one that most countries can dream about having.

“With the new facility, I hope this will help grow the sport in the country and I hope to be able to continue to support the development of officials in the region for years to come.

“One thing Malaysia have done really well is ensure they spend time developing officials at the same pace as they develop players and the coaches. After all, no refs means no game.

“They now have a number of local Malaysian officials who have developed good skills and can officiate their games to help the sport grow and develop.

“I’m honoured to be a part of it and look forward to helping them continue to develop on this way.”