Umpire off to Games
ROCKINGHAM resident Nanako Nomura went from playing table tennis as an after-school activity in Japan to being an international umpire at the Commonwealth Games.
Ms Nomura said her sister introduced her to the sport.
“I found it was very enjoyable, even for smaller sized students like me,” she said.
“I played table tennis for five years, stopped playing and then re-started again after 25 years.
“Table tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world; I believe it has fewer injuries than other sports.”
The Samson Recreation Centre member said she was also a referee at the Melbourne Common- wealth Games in 2006.
“It was magical; the whole city had a festive atmosphere and I saw a lot of volunteers working hard behind the scenes,” she said.
“To be chosen as a referee you had to umpire some international games the year before.
“I flew over to the Gold Coast for the Australian Open Table Tennis in 2017.
“Umpiring world-class players is a privilege. I have met many overseas umpires and we help each other to improve our skills.”
Ms Nomura said umpiring is very different from playing.
“Playing is easy for me as I just concentrate on my own game and I am a hopeless counter,” she said.
“When I umpire other games, I have a different mindset instantly – you must apply all the rules to be fair and firm.
“The hardest ones are to apply service rules and judgment of the edge balls.
“Competitors are pretty good with the umpire’s decision – the game must be continuous.
“There was one very argumentative player in WA. Whenever he played, the referee asked me to umpire his games because I know the rules inside out.”
Ms Nomura will leave on April 2 and will officiate along with six others in the competition.
Rockingham resident Nanako Nomura will umpire at the Commonwealth Games.