by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
At all international tournaments from east to west, north to south and those somewhere in the middle, a photograph of the umpires and referees is mandatory plus on occasions distinguished officials are invited to the occasion.
The Hang Seng 2017 Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open was no different but there was a very pleasant twist to the gathering.
One member of the group, Korea’s Kim Youngju experienced a most emotional moment, as Cindy Leung, a member of the ITTF Referees and Umpires Committee, organised a special surprise at the photo-shoot; the reason being to celebrate Kim Youngju’s birthday.
“A Blue Badge Umpire, Kim Youngju burst into tears of joy when the birthday cake and flower bouquet was presented to her by the Referees’ Team. All the technical officials, including ITTF Competition Manager Vicky Eleftheriade of Cyprus plus International Umpires and Referees from China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, the United States, Switzerland, Italy and Hong Kong, were present to celebrate the occasion.” Cindy Leung.
The occasion concluded; for all it was back business, the umpires and referees fulfilling a role vital in the tournament and one they enjoy.
Let us never forget they are all volunteers; they are there for the good of the sport, for the good of all.