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1 December 2009 | PR 09/168

Student Hong receives top Asian referee award

Una Hong in Kuala Lumpar

Una Hong with her AFC Referee of the Year Award for Women in Kuala Lumpar

Loughborough University student Una Hong has been recognised as Asia’s top female referee at the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) annual awards ceremony hosted in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur last week (24 November).

The Korean national, who is studying for a PhD in Sport Policy at the University, beat fellow referees Jacqui Melksham of Australia and Thailand’s Pannipar Kamnueng to the prestigious gong which is objectively awarded based on points achieved for performances at international matches over the last year.

Hong receives support from Loughborough’s sports scholarship programme and she was quick to publicly thank the University for its backing when collecting her award.

“I am so happy to be here today for this award,” she said. “I would like to thank my university and the FA for helping me achieve my goals, and my family too. I didn't expect to receive such an award.”

Hong took on some challenging matches in 2009, as both a referee and fourth official in the AFC U19 Women’s Championship in China and at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifying games.

She is a FIFA qualified referee and has previously officiated at the Beijing Olympic Games, including women’s semi-final between Germany and Brazil, the Doha Asian Games, the FIFA U20 Women’s Championship and the FIFA U19 Women's Championship.

In the UK she is a level four referee, regularly officiating at semi-professional men’s matches and most recently she has started refereeing The FA women’s premier league.

The AFC awards provide a platform to showcase Asian talents in football, celebrating honour and excellence in the sport since 1994.

-ENDS-

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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