John Peters, a blue-badge International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Umpire, says he is fulfilled to have got to the highest point of officiating in the sport.
He said in an interview that if he could no longer retain his badge as an ITTF Umpire, he was happy to have seen, conquered and had a fulfilling career.
“If by the end of 2016, I cannot retain my badge, I will not be bothered anymore because I think I have had enough.
“If it is unfortunate that I am no longer a blue-badge umpire, that is the end of it. I have seen, I have conquered and I am fulfilled.
“I am highly satisfied and there is no upper limit to where I have reached. It is left for the younger ones to get to that level that I attained,” he said.
The 70-year-old, who became an ITTF Umpire in 1980, said that though the journey was not easy as he had to spend majority of his pension fund on the sport.
He said that his wife had been very supportive, especially in spending his pension fund to attain the highest level of umpiring.
“I became a pensioner in 2000 and the blue-badge umpire programme started in 2005, so, I had to seek my wife’s approval to use out of my pension.
“I needed to travel out of Africa to attend championships for me to be evaluated and I had my first evaluation in 2007 in Croatia.
“It was a big challenge sourcing for funds, satisfying the evaluators because if the evaluators are not satisfied, you won’t pass and money you spent becomes a waste.
“Then, there were a few evaluations that I went for that I didn’t pass but that didn’t deter me, fortunately for me, in 2008, I became a blue-badge umpire,” he said.
He said that he was happy to have officiated at the 2016 Olympics alongside top umpires in the world, saying that it was an excellent experience for him.
“It was an excellent experience for me to have officiated at the 2016 Olympics. It may not be possible for me to go to the Olympics more than once.
“If it is not possible to be there again, I have every cause to be happy that I have been there, it is the highest point for players and officials,” he said.
Peters also attributed finance as a major hindrance to many national umpires to gain the international recognition, saying that the standard of officiating also determined the progress of table tennis. (NAN)
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?