Queuing up to umpire at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Tournament in Kloof later this month, 23-year-old Dundee High School old boy, Qiniso "Que" Mdletshe,prepares himself to blow the whistle at the Grand Finals.
The tournament, which is in its seventh year, travelled to 10 regions around KZN and saw almost 80 high school girls’ first teams battle it out on the astro. At each of the regionals an up-and-coming young umpire was selected, and Mdletshe, representing Northern KZN, was one of the “Most Promising Umpires” to be invited to referee at the Grand Finals.
Mdletshe’s passion for hockey ignited at Uelzen Primary when he first started playing mini hockey in Grade one. He went on to play in the first team at Dundee High School, and then at Varsity College Durban North where he was awarded Second Team Player of the Year. This was the last time he was on the field as a player. He has since been umpiring for over two years. This is his debut at the Spar KZN School Girls’ Tournament. Mdletshe says that he “misses playing hockey, and that it is unfortunate that we don't have enough teams in our area to form a league because it is a beautiful sport.”
As an umpire, Mdletshe likes to encourage fair play and a good game flow, being sure to only interfere and disrupt play when absolutely necessary and striving for his refereeing decisions to be thorough and consistent. He maintains his physical fitness by jogging almost everyday (except Sundays).
Off the field, Mdletshe likes reading books about “success stories” and playing social soccer, cricket and table tennis. He wants to complete his Diploma in Sports Management and dreams of perhaps oneday studying further – this time it would be teaching at either UKZN, UCT, or NWU Pukke.
Catch Que Mdletshe umpiring at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Grand Finals taking place at St Mary’s DSG on the 29 and 30 July 2017.