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Wright awards a penalty stroke in the England vs Ireland game in the 2014 Euro
Nations Championships in Boom, Belgium.
Tshwane University of Technology Senior Sport Organiser and internationally renowned hockey umpire, John Wright, is definitely one of the most valuable assets to the Directorate: Sports and Recreation, in terms of his contribution to the University’s image. He has a wealth of experience in cricket and hockey. Once again, Wright finds himself on his way to the most esteemed sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games, as an umpire. 

The Olympic Games will run from 5 to 21 August in the former Brazilian capital, Rio de Janeiro.

Wright comes from a sport-oriented background and has been umpiring from the age of thirteen. The fact that he is not compensated for these services, further validates his passion and selflessness for umpiring.

The veteran says that while most umpires enjoy the thrill of being on a hockey pitch, he enjoys reflecting on his performance after the fixtures. “Umpiring has taught me how to manage and resolve difficult situations in life. It requires great mental strength, tenacity, and a clear thought process,” he added.

Wright has a number of achievements to his name, including umpiring at the last four Olympic Games and umpiring the final in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He is also directly involved with a handful of hockey and cricket associations for both sports administration and umpiring.

The best highlights of his umpiring career were the clashes between the Netherlands and Australia in both the 2004 Athens Olympic Games final, and the 2014 Men’s Hockey World Cup final in Den Hague, Netherlands.

The lowest point of his career was in the 2012 London Olympics where he made a number of wrong decisions which were corrected via the video umpire system during a fixture between Great Britain and Spain. “I didn’t want to do this anymore,” he said. Yet nothing could separate this man from the love of the game.

When asked about his readiness for the Rio Olympic Games, he said, “I’m relaxed about it because I’ve been putting in good match time with Varsity Hockey. I do however, need to continue working on my physical and mental fitness.”

“We are thrilled with Wright’s achievements. His consistent selection to umpire in the Olympics and other international events, is a reflection of the international community’s respect for his influence and involvement in the sport,” said Director: Sport and Recreation, Shadrack Nthangeni.

Wright maintains that for hockey to grow in the country as a sport of choice there needs to be, “More infrastructure development and support, resource distribution in higher and basic education, and more marketing aimed at participation in the sport.”

Wright plans to retire from international umpiring after this year’s Rio Olympic Games. 
  John Wright finds himself in a heated debate with the Australian
and New Zealand captains in the Oceania Cup final, in Stratford,
New Zealand last year.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to