T&T’s top international hockey umpire Ayanna McClean was honoured after she took charge of her 100th international, the top Asian rivalry that involved China vs Japan (a repeat of my second match at the Olympics) in which Japan won 3-2 at the Women's Asian Championship Trophy Tournament in Donghae, South Korea on Monday.
By achieving the feat, McClean, a graduate of South East Port-of-Spain was awarded the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) Golden Whistle to become the 50th woman to ever receive the award and is one of fewer than 100 umpires who have done so in the lifetime of the sport.
McClean, a member of the local club Ventures, is also the first umpire from the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) region and about the 12th umpire in the Pan Am region to achieve the feat.
Since her Olympic Games campaign where she did match-ups that featured Argentina and Japan, Netherlands and South Africa, Argentina vs Spain, and the battle of the Asian giants Japan and China, which China won 4-3, the Belmont native has been quietly flying the T&T flag at many tournaments including the finals of the NCAA Division 1 in the USA.
The daughter of another former T&T international hockey umpire Cherill McClean said: "You have to start something to accomplish something. Totally honoured to have joined a special group of elite, world-class umpires that have been awarded a Golden Whistle after umpiring 100 senior international matches. Being the first in the Central American & Caribbean region, I hope to inspire athletes, officials, females and many others to begin a new journey and see where it takes you. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through and continue to cheer me on during this journey."