From Mombasa to the World; The hockey journey of Tito.

On our weekly feature today we focus on the hockey journey of Titus Ngolia Mulwa or Tito as he is known in the hockey circles. He sits down with George Njuguna and tells him about his hockey journey which started 19 years ago at Kilindini High School in Mombasa.

When did you start playing the game?
I first held a hockey stick in 2003 during my 2nd year in high school.

Clubs play/played for?
My first club was Mombasa Sports Club where I played from 2003 to 2013. I later joined Wazalendo Hockey Club in 2013 but things didn’t go as expected .Towards the end of 2015, Collins Asimba (who was forming a new team) asked if I was willing to join his side and that’s how I left the Premier League side and opted to play in the National League with Chase Bank Sailors which is now Sailors Hockey Club.

When did you start umpiring?
I started umpiring in 2006 during training sessions whereby I would double up as player and umpire. But I officially became a KHUA umpire in 2012.

What motivated you to join?
To be honest nothing much, I just felt I should try the other side of the pitch and be part of it.

How ahead the journey been?
So far so good, the journey has a been good. I enjoy doing what I love most and it’s quite fun.
Being appointed to officiate the Club Championships in Lusaka, Zambia in 2015. I officiated the finals and became the first Kenyan to do so which is a plus on my side.
Being promoted to the FIH International Panel Umpire for outdoor Hockey on 8th July 2022.
Lows of it?
I haven’t achieved my dreams yet.

What motivates you to do this?
My passion for hockey and also I would love to see the young players feel encouraged and be a role model to them as well.
How does balance being a player and an umpire when playing?
It not easy being on the other side of the whistle. I realized it was messing up my game and being disrespectful to my fellow umpires as a player. I’m still learning.

How does it feel to be made an international umpire?
It’s a milestone to me. When I look back from where I started, to be honest I have achieved something and it feels great. It also makes me feel I’m a better person and someday I would love to see myself going places and learn more.
Do you have a role model umpire? And why Him/her?
My role model is the former International and a close friend, Anthony Fernandes. I just love how he conducts himself on and off the field.

A word to other men who want to be umpires?
You’re most welcomed. Learning is a continuous process so to speak. Be disciplined and stay focused.

Credit: Tyson/Hockey Bits