Sports

Shaw in select company

Richmond
Richmond's Tony Shaw is now one of only five Canadian table tennis referees qualified to oversee any international event.
— image credit: sub

Tony Shaw’s dedication to table tennis is never ending.

As a former president of the B.C. Table Tennis Federation and vice-president of the Canadian chapter, the Richmond man has given significant time and energy helping to organize and increase the number of tournaments across the country. In recent years, however, he’s been increasingly focused on officiating and is just back from a whirlwind trip to China and India where he umpired several matches at the grand final of the World Table Tennis Tour in Hangzhou and at the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Hyderabad.

Shaw says it was an honour and privilege to officiate at both events, but he returned home with an even bigger award—he’s now one of just 160 table tennis referees in the world to be qualified to oversee any open international competition. He’s also only the fifth Canadian to hold such credentials.

“I’m very happy to achieve this qualification, it’s been my dream,” said Shaw.

At 68 years old, Shaw—despite his boundless energy and youthful appearance—was worried his age might work against him. So he made sure that he was prepared for whatever challenges might be presented at the international referee school he attended just prior to the grand final in Hangzhou. One of only 12 individuals from around the world invited to attend the four days of intensive courses, he was required to pass both a written exam and interview. Prior to leaving home, Shaw spent several early mornings studying the material he imagined would be included in the tests and wound up with the highest mark in the class.

“I was a little worried because I knew most of the people attending were quite young, including a few university professors,” he says.

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