Hempstead, NY – Former Hofstra field hockey player, Ayanna McClean '08, has been selected by the Fédération Internationale de Hockey to officiate at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. McClean will represent her home country of Trinidad and Tobago.
"It is amazing coming from the Caribbean. There isn't a lot of opportunities because we don't attend a lot of tournaments, especially at the high level," said McClean in an interview with Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday. "It was a difficult journey, it was a lot of work and sacrifice over the years."
McClean went through a rigorous process to earn the selection. "I studied in the U.S. and from there I got my appointment in and out of the PanAm region," she continued. "Then, I went through grading and marking very similar to FIFA, and went to tournaments to get graded. There is also a fitness test."
The Hofstra alumna believes that qualifying for the Olympics as an umpire is just as impressive as qualifying as an athlete due to the same demand for practice and training, as well as mental and physical coaching.
McClean was a four-year defender at Hofstra and started in 79 career games. In 2004, she was named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team and was named to the NFHCA Division I National Academic squad three times.
"I hope to inspire people to push past what the opportunities are because I was once a player and recognized that it is going to be a tough road because there are so many different layers. So I put it on myself and said, let's take another avenue and put the work in," she finished saying.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to take place July 24 through August 9.