The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that Amber Church has been named the Female FIH Umpire of the Year 2021-22.
Amber has been a prolific umpire at the international level of hockey for well over a decade now having officiated her first international match all the way back in 2009 and is widely regarded as one of the best umpires in the world. She has completed a century of appearances as an umpire in international matches, with her 100th appearance coming on 15th May 2022 in a test match between Australia and New Zealand women’s teams.
Throughout the 2021-22 hockey season, Amber maintained peak fitness and performance levels, despite a long period away from international hockey due to the COVID situation in New Zealand, and picked up right where she had left off, after an impressive performance in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.
Amber is highly regarded not just by her peers but also by the players that she officiates and was also felicitated as the Umpire of the Year by Hockey New Zealand for the year 2021; wherein her efforts to provide off-field support to other umpires, in helping them grow the skills, was specifically noted as well.
Amber was an appointed official for the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain and Netherlands 2022 and also made it to her first ever Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022. She was a standout performer at both the events being justifiably appointed to officiate the Finals match at the Women’s World Cup as well as the Women’s finals of the Commonwealth Games, showcasing that she is absolutely at the top of her field and a deserved winner.