On our weekly feature today, we talk to Kenya Hockey Union umpire Evanson Alulu Liyayi, an economist graduand turned teacher who talks about his rising journey as an umpire.
Lord_Alunje is my online gaming ID. In campus my friends used to go by TY. In high school I was called Alunje but I am fine with Alulu
Gaming. I love playing games phone, pc and console, hiking, camping, travelling, eating i love food, i love watching sports (soccer,hockey,NFL,NBA,F1,Rally) but I know a little bit about each and every sport to be honest.
When did you start playing the game?
Form 1 in Lenana School. I was initially footballer I nearly joined MYSA the football academy. I was introduced to hockey by my physics teacher Mr. Bunyasi now a principal Hospital hill high school. i still believe hockey was a better choice to football i grew to love the sport.
Clubs played for?
I am currently playing for Park road Hockey club.
I joined Strathmore briefly after high school where I put in some minutes but went to campus in 2012 Pwani University and I moved to Mombasa Sports club. Came back to Nairobi in 2016 after graduation “I was almost an Impala player but maybe the fax machine was spoilt so I was enrolled as a Parkroad player. 😂😂😂😂.”
When did you start umpiring?
Well it took about a year for me to start the journey after my course. I met Wycliffe Ongori (KHU Hon Secretary General) after one of my matches and we had a talk about me taking up the whistle I told him about my fears and he was willing to help me through. Peter Obalo was also very instrumental in guiding me through my initial stage in umpiring. I haven’t looked back since.
I did my course in 2018. when I was doing the course they were offering coaching level 0 and umpiring and I was open to doing both though I preferred coaching then. Honestly I never thought I’d be doing matches I was sure I was not cut out to be an umpire. So it should be a motivation for everyone who isn’t sure and would like to do it.
The Gold Cup invitational 2022. I felt like I handled the matches to the best of my ability regardless of the butterflies at first. I hope to get more appointments in future.
Highs and lows
Its always nice to get some good critic and feedback, its always good when people notice the effort put in to improve and learn from mistakes.
Lows I feel like we need more young blood in umpiring, we should give the emphasis in building players to building umpires. Lets have prime umpires in their late twenties rather than late thirties. I also feel like much more can be done to make umpiring in Kenya more desirable.
What Motivates you?
I love challenges. I desire to give the absolute best in all my endeavors. Umpiring more than anything is a socialising hub I get to meet people at different stages of the journey and compare notes not only on umpiring but life in general. Its always motivating for someone to tell you I was there and you will get here and you fasten your seat belt to experience the journey. It would be a crime not to mention my mom who has always supported my hockey journey (apart from this one time I got an injury very close to my eye).
How do balance being a player and an umpire when playing?
Its easy for me since playing and umpiring complement each other for me. You learn so much having to view the game from different perspectives. Playing is also advisable for the fitness aspect of being a good umpire.
Do you have a role model umpire? And why Him/her?
Keely Dunn, she retired in 2017. I have learnt a lot from here I love how she communicates she is a real motivation.
What do you do when not playing or umpiring?
I graduated as an economist in 2016 went back to school i am now a P.E teacher i love sports and i cant wait to teach i am excited. on the side i run a branding business and i do a little bit of farming i rear chicken and pigs.
A word to fellow young people who want to be umpires?
young umpires should pick up the whistle as early as possible make you mistakes and learn by the time you are 25 years you are at your prime. playing the game is not the only avenue in this discipline we seem to concentrate on coaching and playing more and neglecting umpiring. cast away your fears the journey is just as interesting and challenging as picking up a stick at form 1 and learning the skills slowly.