March 2, 2018

Pareina Matariki in action at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games.

Vanuatu’s Pareina Matariki has been awarded a scholarship to umpire at the upcoming ITTF-Oceania Championships, to be held on the Gold Coast, Australia from the 15th-19th of March.

Matariki is an experienced player, having competed at both the Commonwealth Games and Pacific Games. But the Vanuatu national team member is new to the umpiring scene.

“I am part of the Vanuatu table tennis team, but last year I decided to take a break and focus on studies,” says Matariki.  “I got a call asking if i wanted to volunteer at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu as an umpire and I accepted.”

For Matariki it was a positive first experience.

“I enjoyed being able to umpire a good match and meet different players.”

It is hoped that the scholarship will not only assist Matariki, but also encourage other would be umpires to start heading down the technical official pathways.

“This is a big achievement for the Vanuatu Table Tennis Federation because we never have umpires, and we never had a scholarship for an umpire,” said Anolyn Lulu. “This opens a door for technical officials.”