Pictured: Cherish Reti, Samoa. Photo credit: Ballarat Badminton
In January 2019, Badminton Oceania joined forces with Samoa Badminton Federation to run their 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 and siblings, Joel and Cherish Reti, who went on to officiate at this year’s VICTOR Oceania Championships 2020.
Mentored by the supportive and accommodation technical officials that 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 I have learnt so much after umpiring here. My favourite part has been getting to know the other umpires who have shared their knowledge with me”, says Cherish.
“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 great meeting players and experienced umpires” says Joel.
The different venues (from Samoa to Ballarat) also brought along a series of new challenges, adapting to different environments, social settings and different equipment.
“I liked using the touchpads, instead of using the scoresheets and flip boards. I hope that I get the chance to do this again at other international events”, says Cherish.
“It was a new experience for me and there is still a lot to learn. I hope to gain more practice and become much better”, says Joel.
Samoa celebrated an incredible year in 2019, with the likes of Youth Pastor, Televine Masefau using Shuttle Time to combat anti-social behaviour and entering a junior and open team into last year’s continental championships.
This year, Joel and Cherish are confident that their new skills and experience can bring further development to their country’s players.
“My family and the badminton team are happy that 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.
“We train regularly in Samoa, and I look forward to impart the knowledge that has been shared with me here in Ballarat. I am looking forward to gaining some more experience”, says Joel.
Badminton Oceania looks forward to continuing the development of technical officials across the Pacific and is excited about the future prospects for the young umpires.