29 Apr 2022

Supporting women throughout their careers is a major priority of the ITTF; at the current WTT Youth Contender Linz 2022 tournament there is no better example.

Fully supported by the ITTF and WTT, referee Klara Duskova has decided to officiate at the WTT Youth Contender Linz 2022 with her eight-month-old daughter Lada.

Special arrangements have been made by the organisers. The schedule of the young mother has been adjusted to accommodate the necessary break. Moreover, credentials have been given to a family member accompanying her.

Werner Thury, Chair of the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee, was determined that she should be able to officiate in Linz.

“Klara is one of our top young referees and we want to ensure that she has the best conditions to combine family and table tennis. She is always fully motivated and ready to help. Klara is a real role model and hopefully other young female match officials will follow. Perhaps we will see Lada in a few years as player or match official in a WTT event!” Werner Thury

It is a landmark, one applauded by Hajera Kajee, ITTF Gender Commissioner.

“This is a first for us, the table tennis family, I applaud Klara for her determination, commitment and love for refereeing and for her eight month old daughter Lada. To the organisers thank you for breaking the barrier in supporting Klara and Lada to be part of this World event. I call upon all mothers like Klara to claim their space by returning to table tennis; as a committed  organisation to gender equality it is time to level the playing field by providing child care facilities to the mothers of our sport; this is urgent!” Hajera Kajee

Klara passed the International Referee Examination in 2017 and has focused mainly on youth tournaments. In 2021 Lada was born. Klara did not want to cease her refereeing duties; the tournament in Linz has provided the perfect opportunity.

“I am very thankful for this possibility. Sometimes it is exhausting, I am “on duty” 24/7 but with the huge support of my mother and husband plus all my colleagues here I can spend a nice time doing the job I love. I cannot thank them enough. The last international event I did was when I was in my seventh month of pregnancy. I never stopped working for the Czech Umpires and Referees Committee. I hope that other female umpires and referees in co-operation with organisers will search for solutions, not obstacles. Happy mother equals happy baby.” Klara Duskova

Follow all the action and results of WTT Youth Contender Linz 2022 on worldtabletennis.com

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