Johnston to Abu Dhabi

Top British female ref gets key position in Emirates

28.07.2014
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Joy Johnston recently worked as a referee instructor at the 2014 IIHF Hockey Development Camp – an experience that will help in her new job in the United Arab Emirates. Photo: Martin Merk

Joy Johnston (née Tottman), who was the referee of the 2014 Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament’s gold medal game in Sochi, has been appointed chief referee and game official supervisor of the Abu Dhabi Ice Sports Club, which serves as the base for the United Arab Emirates’ national teams. She will begin a nine-month contract in September.

Johnston is one of several good examples that one doesn’t need to be from a big hockey country to become a top game official. It’s hard work and talent that counts. Before officiating the final in Sochi, Johnston had also reffed the gold medal game of the 2007 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship and the bronze medal games in 2005 and 2013. Sochi 2014 was her third Olympics.

“I am really excited by this opportunity, but I think it will be a huge challenge and learning curve for me,” Johnston said in a statement published by Ice Hockey UK.

Her role will include running a referee development program, recruiting new officials and teaching and giving lectures concerning the IIHF Rule Book.

She will also officiate in Abu Dhabi's top league, as well as officiating in junior leagues, including their under-18 program.

Johnston, who plans to continue officiating in international hockey, recently got a first glimpse of a potential off-ice career when she worked as an instructor for potential new female IIHF refs at the 2014 IIHF Hockey Development Camp in Vierumaki, Finland, earlier this month (see separate story).

“The opportunity came through a recommendation of the IIHF after I went to the Vierumaki camp as an instructor,” she said. “The IIHF are supportive and keen for me to stay on the ice this year at the same time as developing my instructing and supervising skills.”

MARTIN MERK
– with files from Ice Hockey UK

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