In January 2019, Badminton Oceania joined forces with Samoa Badminton Federation to run its first national technical official development course.
With the excitement of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games mounting at the time, Samoa seized the opportunity to train up their local workforce to support the Pacific Games as technical officials.
One of the biggest success stories was the professionalism and enthusiasm displayed by players-siblings Joel and Cherish Reti, who went on to officiate at the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2020.
Mentored by the supportive and accommodating technical officials who contributed to the success of last week’s Continental Championships, the pair were put through their paces and allocated games to serve as umpire, line judge and service judge.
“I had a great week. I loved watching the games and learnt so much after umpiring here,” says Cherish.
“My favourite part has been getting to know the other umpires who shared their knowledge with me.”
Joel adds: “At first, I was nervous to be doing this alongside so many other experienced umpires. However, the journey has been amazing. I really love the sport, it’s great meeting players and experienced umpires.”
The various venues (from Samoa to Ballarat) also brought along a series of new challenges – adapting to different environments, social settings and equipment.
“I liked using the touchpads, instead of the scoresheets and flip boards. I hope I get the chance to do this again at other international events,” says Cherish.
“It was a new experience and there is still a lot to learn. I hope to gain more practice and become much better,” says Joel.
Samoa celebrated an incredible 2019 – a junior and open team entered the Continental Championships while the likes of Youth Pastor and Televine Masefau used Shuttle Time to combat anti-social behaviour.
This year, Joel and Cherish are confident their new skills and experience can bring further development to their country’s players.
“My family and the badminton team are happy I have come here, so they are excited for me to go back and share what I’ve learnt to see how it can help them progress,” says Cherish.
Joel is equally as excited.
“We train regularly in Samoa, and I look forward to imparting the knowledge that has been shared with me here in Ballarat. I am looking forward to gaining more experience.”
** Article was first published on Badminton Oceania website by Tom Leonard.