Um­pire off to Games

Weekend Courier - - Sport -

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.

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