Huge dilemma for hockey mad bowler
A member of Kirkhill Bowling Club has been faced with a dilemma after his European hockey seminar was rearranged for the same day as the beginning of the bowling season.
Iain McKay, 64, is only one of three people in Europe qualified to train officials for big hockey events such as the Commonwealth games and the Olympics.
And now he will travel to Brussels on April 16 to represent Scotland at the seminar where he will perform a presentation in front of 24 officials from 19 different countries.
But the vice president for Kirkhill BC will have to miss the opening day as the original annual meeting at the European Hockey Federation (EHF) headquarters has been rescheduled.
The date was changed to April 16 after safety concerns rose in the Belgium capital in November.
Iain said: “I’m responsible in bringing up the next officials for the Olympic and Commonwealth games.
“The problem is I have to go to the seminar because there is only one a year.
“Because I am now the vice president at Kirkhill, I’m also meant to be at the club for the opening day.
“The travel arrangements have become more difficult because of the terrorist attacks in Brussels last month.
“I am one of the trainers for world hockey officials and one of the presenters on the weekend from Friday to Saturday.
“I will get to meet lots of people from different parts of the world so I know it will be enjoyable and I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ll be showing people what they should be doing at big tournaments.”
Following Iain’s presentation, officials will be able to take charge of managing the game without umpiring and will take over duties that include discipline, timing, scoring and substitutions.
Iain has been involved in hockey since 2000 and has officiated at the European finals and the Hockey Indoor World Cup.
His next competition will be the European Championships in Slovenia in May where he will take up the role as Tournament Director.
Throughout his time on the greens and the field, Iain has had to find the balance between his winter sport, hockey and his summer sport of bowls.
“The two don’t usually clash but when they do it’s all about balance,” Iain said.
“I’ve been playing bowls for 40 years and I thoroughly enjoy it. Kirkhill is the best club in the west of Scotland. It’s got a perfect set up and the members are very welcoming.
“Our club president John O’Brien has been very understanding and it will be sad to miss the first round of games.”
Hats off to you Ian was a hockey official at the Olympics in London
Big competitions Ian has to find the balance between bowls and hockey