Samoans training as squash referees

Ten Samoans are a step closer to becoming accredited squash referees after a recent successful training session ahead of the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games.

The Samoa Squash Association is working with the Oceania Squash Federation on training and accreditation. 

"Our aim is to have seven locals complete their assessments during the Games and receive Oceania Referee accreditation," said Carol Kawaljenko, Executive Officer of the Federation.

Samoa does not have qualified referees to an international level, so the federation funded a two-day training course, run by Chris Buckland from New Zealand.

The course was a success with more than ten participants from the Samoa Squash Association.

"The training was well received, the participants were eager to learn and completed the theory component of the Squash Referee Course,” she added.

The next step in the course is practical assessments during the Pacific Games. The visiting International Technical Officials will assess each participant over several matches - both singles and doubles - to ensure their understanding of the theory components can be put to practical use.

A similar programme was held during the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea and proved very successful.

The Squash Courts venue at Faleata Sports Complex is also a winner.

"This has been built to international standards and will be a great venue to conduct the upcoming competition," said Kawaljenko. "I was impressed with the set out and the ample spectator seating available."

The Oceania Squash Championships will be held in conjunction with the Pacific Games. The championships are run every two years, either alongside a Pacific Games or Pacific Mini Games or as a standalone event when squash is not a competitive sport in these.

"We were unable to include Australia and New Zealand in these Games as squash wasn't initially included when Tonga won the hosting rights, due to the lack of facilities there. As a result of this, the Pacific Games Council approval for Australia and New Zealand’s inclusion in sports did not include squash." 

An Oceania Presentation Dinner, hosted by Samoa Squash, will be held at the completion of competition on 19 July.