This past March, another first was made by one of the Junior Game Officials of the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Officials Association; being assigned to an International Ice Hockey Federation tournament.
Mr. Otto Chan was assigned to represent Hong Kong as a Linesman in the 2016 Challenge Cup of Asia tournament in Abu Dhabi, UAE. At 21 years old, he was the first of a young but talented group of game officials to earn such a distinction. The road was long to get to this point, but the hard work paid off.
“I was really happy to be given the chance to go to this tournament” boasts Otto.
“It took a lot of hard work and dedication to improve myself even to get the IIHF License. From there I wasn’t sure when I would get the chance to go to a tournament, but I knew it would come. Now that my chance came, I really took advantage and did my best in the games.”
This season was a strong season for Otto as he spent most of it working the top leagues in Hong Kong; the Principal Standard League and the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association’s National League. Both these leagues feature some of the top local and foreign born players Hong Kong has to offer, so this served as the bench mark to be ready for an international tournament.
“The level of games I had been assigned this year really helped me in the tournament” explains Otto.
“Working as a Linesman in some really high level games prepared me for success in the CCOA. Also, my referee supervisor in Hong Kong really helped advance my abilities and most importantly, my knowledge and understanding of all IIHF rules and procedures. This was something that my referee supervisor in the CCOA was very strict on and without the guidance in this area I have received in Hong Kong, I would not have been as successful in the tournament.”
Certainly the supervision in his games proved to be very useful for Otto, but there are many other junior game officials who are working hard at the chance to follow in these footsteps. Otto may have been the first of these young game officials to see the international game, but for sure he won’t be the last.
“I also really enjoyed sharing my experiences from the tournament with my fellow junior game officials back in Hong Kong” says Otto. “We are all working very hard and are eager for a chance to work an IIHF tournament. Sharing my experiences along the way with them helped me stay focused and kept them hungry to work harder. We all push each other to be better in our games in Hong Kong and I am grateful for the camaraderie which we share.”
“I’d like to thank my referee supervisor and all those who have supported and pushed me to grow and develop to this level. It is a nice achievement but now I know the work becomes harder to reach the next level. In particular I am very thankful to the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Officials Association to provide systematic training to, not just me, but all the officials in Hong Kong no matter their age and level”.
The Hong Kong Ice Officials Association was established in 2014 aiming to raise the levels of on-ice and off-ice officials of ice hockey. All training is provided free of charge. Interested parties please enquire to firstname.lastname@example.org