Stratford Hockey Club president Glen Taylor has been selected to umpire at the International Masters World Cup in Barcelona.
Glen leaves Stratford this week for the major competition which features 135 international teams and runs from July 27- August 5.
The Stratford dairy farmer says he was surprised and pleased to be selected for the cup and it will be the first time he has represented New Zealand as an umpire.
Glen was one of 10 umpires picked after being watched closely by selectors during the New Zealand and World Masters Games last year.
Glen has always loved hockey and started umpiring when he was 11 years old. At 13 he went to his first New Zealand tournament and has since met lifelong friends through the game.
He is heavily involved in the sport and as well as being on the Taranaki Hockey Federation Board, is chairman of the youth council which looks after high school and youth hockey.
His son Jackson — who is in year 13 at Stratford High School — is following in his dad's footsteps, having umpired games since he was 10 and played representative and school hockey since he was 13. He just recently umpired an under-18 regional tournament in Dunedin and will go with his dad to Barcelona as an assistant.
Glen says he is looking forward to the cup which will present some challenges when it comes to language barriers as well as the heat. To prepare for the cup he has been doing as much umpiring as he can.
"It's a mental thing mostly — it's all about being in the right frame of mind." He says hockey is a great game to play throughout life.
"It's a game you can still play when you get older — you can still enjoy the camaraderie and it doesn't have as much physical contact as other sports."
Glen was grateful for the support to help him get to Barcelona and looked forward to seeing some top notch hockey.
" I want to thank Taranaki umpiring guru Allister Thomas for all of his help and support. I am looking forward to getting over there and the whole experience really — it will be a good challenge."