Sport PEI has announced the finalists for the prestigious Official of the Year award, which will be presented at the annual awards banquet on March 27 at the Rodd Royalty in Charlottetown.
Sponsored by the PEI Mutual Insurance Company, this award recognizes Islanders who have reached the highest levels in officiating in their chosen sport. Finalists are Kay Atkinson (curling), Najam Chishti (table tennis), and Nancy Hashie (figure skating).
Ticket details for the banquet will be released shortly.
Kay Atkinson (Curling) – pictured above
Kay Atkinson is held in high esteem by both the provincial body and the Canadian Curling Association, and this was demonstrated by her appointment as Chief Umpire for the 2011 Scotties held in Charlottetown.
It was fitting reward for level 4 Kay from Charlottetown, who has been the Island’s top curling official for a number of years, officiating in major events such as the Canadian seniors, two Briers and the Olympic trials, in addition to the large number of provincial tournaments at which she works.
At the Scotties, Atkinson’s responsibilities included scheduling practice times, selecting the on-ice observers, as well as monitoring the time clocks.
A past-president of the Charlottetown Curling Club, Atkinson is a fair and consistent official who is highly regarded wherever she umpires, and she was recognized in 2011 with the PEI Curling Association’s Official of the Year Award.
Najam Chishti (Table Tennis) – pictured above
One of Canada’s top table tennis officials, Najam Chishti of Charlottetown enjoyed high profile assignments in 2011, including finals at the Para Pan Am Games in Mexico, an experience which saw him officiate both standing and wheelchair table tennis games.
Chishti also umpired at the North American Championships in Toronto, including the Canada-USA women’s final, as well as the Canadian Championships, where he umpired a fraught men’s final between Ontario and Quebec that severely tested his officiating skills.
An officials course conductor, and the officials chair for PEI, Najam Chishti is right at the top of table tennis umpiring in Canada.
Nancy Hashie (Figure Skating) – pictured above
Nancy Hashie of Wellington is also highly respected in the figure skating world, where her role first as an accountant, and then a data specialist, has allowed her to serve at many of the top events.
A level 2 official and Data Specialist Chair for Skate Canada PEI, Hashie’s role at competition includes making the final call on scores, as well as operating the scoring system and even verifying results, so as to avoid any controversial issues regarding judging.
In 2011 Nancy enjoyed assignments at the Canada Games and the Eastern Challenge, and she has been at the forefront of training new data specialists so they are comfortable with the most recent technological advances.
A winner of the national Skate Canada Award of Excellence, Nancy has been involved in the sport for 30-plus years, the last 15 of which have been as a high level figure skating official.