The 2017 WA Sports Star Awards were held on Thursday 8 February at Optus Stadium, where over 700 people gathered to recognise those who stand out within the WA sporting industry.
Community TAB was sponsor of the Official of the Year Award after having worked closely with WA Sports Federation and the Department of Sport and Recreation for many years.
Community TAB proudly presented the Award to the very worthy winner, Kelly Hoare.
Those in the badminton world still talk in revered terms about the Badminton World Federation Women’s Final at the world championships between Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara and India’s PV Sindhu in Glasgow, Scotland last August. The epic 1 hour 50 minute battle, which featured a 73 shot rally in the second game, is now regarded as one of the best women’s matches ever played. And right in the middle of the action was Perth’s Kelly Hoare who umpired the contest. It capped a successful year for Kelly who was also in charge of the men’s singles final at the Celcom Axiata Malaysian Open, the women’s singles final at the Sudirman Cup on the Gold Coast and the women’s doubles final at the Australian Super Series.
We had a chat with Ms Hoare about her journey with Badminton in WA, Australia and internationally.
When and how did you first become involved in Badminton?
My parents played badminton when I was a child. I then took up the sport as a young child/teenager, first playing at the Roleystone rec centre in around 1980. We then moved to the now South Suburban Badminton centre in Armadale, where I continued to play until I stopped at the age of 18. I took up the sport again after having my first child in 1992. I belonged to the Kelmscott badminton club and when two umpire officials came to the centre to run a course, I thought “why not learn the laws of the game”. I received about 90% on the exam and hence my umpiring career started. I still have the imprint of their hands in my back pushing me forward.
What sort of training did it take to become a high level official in Badminton?
There are 3 levels in Australia:
Level 1 - Do an umpires course and sit an exam on the laws - need to umpire at least 100 matches per year – stay at this level for 12 months
Level 2 – (state umpire) sit practical assessment and exam on laws – umpire 200 matches per year - stay at this level for 2 years
Level 3 – (National umpire) sit practical assessment and exam on laws – umpire 200 matches per year – stay at this level for 2 years
There are 2 levels for Oceania:
Oceania Accredited – sit practical assessment and exam on laws – umpire 200 matches per year - stay at this level for 2 years
Oceania Certificated - sit practical assessment and exam on laws – umpire 200 matches per year - stay at this level for 2 years
BWF (Badminton World Federation) – 2 levels:
Have to be invited to be assessed at these levels by BWF Assessment panel.
BWF Accredited - sit practical assessment with 3 to 5 assessors, and exam on laws – umpire 60 matches per year at international level, such as World Champs, Sudirman cup, Thomas and Uber Cups, super series.
BWF Certificated - sit practical assessment with 3 to 5 assessors. Umpire 60 matches per year at international level, such as World Champs, Olympics, Sudirman cup, Thomas and Uber Cups, super series.
After you have reached this level, you will then have to have an appraisal done at least once every two years to make sure you are still qualified for this level.
Why do you love being involved in Badminton?
Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world. It’s amazing to watch these athletes compete at this level. It’s the best seat in the house. Get to travel the world 3 – 4 times a year and the comradery I have with umpires from all around the world is just fantastic. A moment I will never forget is one of the first times I went to China early on in my career and there were about 15 umpires from 15 different countries sitting around the table sharing a meal, all talking about our own life experiences brought together because of this wonderful sport of ours.
What is your career highlight/s?
The biggest highlight would have to be the Sydney Olympics, although I was only a line judge at this stage, we had so much fun and saw some very exciting badminton. Being certificated in 2012 in KL was another exciting moment, it is very difficult to get to this level and to pass was such an emotional moment, particularly being on my own without any family members to celebrate this significant achievement.
What does it mean to you to win the Official of the Year Award?
It is such an honour to be recognised for this award. Badminton is such a low profile sport in Australia and it is fantastic that our commitments are now being recognised. I am so thankful to all who helped me along the way. And can only hope this will now show other badminton players/people that this is achievable for everyone.
The event was also pre-recorded on the night and broadcast Sunday 11 February at 2.00pm on 7mate.