Hockey umpire calls time on 15-year career

Melissa Trivic has umpired hockey for 15 years.
Melissa Trivic has umpired hockey for 15 years.

FIFTEEN years after umpiring a test match between Australia and China, one of Australia’s highest ranked international female umpires has retired from international umpiring.

In an international career matched by few, Melissa Trivic, of Bassendean, accumulated 100 senior caps through appointments to championships, tournaments and matches over the past 15 years.

Her career progressed from test matches, four-nation tournaments and Olympic qualifiers to appointments to the Commonwealth Games in 2010, World League semi-finals in 2013 and 2015, the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

Hockey Australia (HA) will formally recognise and celebrate her achievements later in the year when Trivic will umpire her last national match in Perth during the Hockey One League.

Trivic was Hockey Australia’s Women’s Official of the Year in 2011 and 2016.

She will continue to be involved in local hockey, saying she simply “loves the sport too much” to hang up the whistle entirely.

“I feel very proud of my achievements and am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved in the sport I love at the highest level. I made some great friendships and had a blast along the way. The memories and laughs are endless,” she said.

“Umpiring at the Women’s World Cup (Den Hague 2014) was definitely something I had strived for.

“This was beaten as my career highlight by being appointed to an Olympic Games – my ultimate goal.

Trivic credited her family for enabling her to follow her passion and said the international opportunities had not come without sacrifice.

“For a huge chunk of my professional career I ensured I held jobs that afforded some flexibility for me to chase my goal, allowing me to attend one to two tournaments per year,” she said.

“It did mean that career advancement stalled during this time, especially as I was juggling hockey, work and a young family.

“Fortunately, I have an extremely supportive husband, mum and in-laws that unreservedly stepped up and followed my colour-coded calendars for the duration of tournaments, making sure both boys were always at school on time and taken to after-school activities.

“They were amazing and without them I couldn’t have travelled the world doing what I love.”

Her advice for aspiring international umpires was to absorb all advice and feedback.

“Focus on the things you can control; your performance and attitude,” she said.

“And don’t take any match for granted. Treat each match with the respect it deserves and know that it’s a privilege every time you step on the field.

“Being a great umpire takes passion, desire and humility.

“I think we’re all driven to be the best we can be, but the very best umpires are those who understand that the game is not about them, but rather that they are there to simply serve the game.”

HA chief executive Matt Favier said her contribution to hockey in Australia and internationally was remarkable.

“Trivic is recognised internationally for her talents and her longstanding commitment to our sport. We’re so grateful for all that she has done for hockey – getting to the very top takes commitment, skill and shows incredible dedication on both her and her family’s part,” he said.

“On behalf of the hockey community, I would like to thank her for all she has done for our sport and congratulate her on her achievements.”