Bedford’s Beate Nicol joins umpiring team for 2022 Commonwealth Games

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Beate Nicol is one of 18 British umpires to officiate at the Commonwealth Games

Table tennis umpire, Beate Nicol, says she is “super excited” to officiate at a home Commonwealth Games after being selected as an umpire for the table tennis and para table tennis events at Birmingham 2022 this summer.

Table tennis is one of a record 19 sports occurring across ten days from 28th July, with the para Games taking place across the same ten-day period.

The 51-year-old from Bromham will be one of 18 English and 18 international officials working under the direction of English referee Karen Tonge OBE at the Games.

Table Tennis now a ‘Core sport’

Table Tennis was initially an optional event on the Commonwealth Games schedule and was first introduced at Manchester 2002.

It’s proven so popular that it now has ‘Core Sport’ status, meaning it will remain on the schedule at all future Games. 

Nicol said, “I’m super excited and I think it’s a real privilege to have been selected to be at the Commonwealth Games as an official supporting the sport I really love.”

The NEC Arena will host the Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis events; a venue that can hold upwards of 15,000 people and a venue that Beate will be at the heart of when on duty.

Nicol is a relatively recent graduate of Table Tennis England’s umpiring education programme, having trained before and during the pandemic.

She added, “I started umpiring at a course in St Neots and since then I’ve had a lot of support from experienced umpires at all the tournaments I’ve been umpiring.

“My mentors discuss situations they have been in and the tricky decisions you sometimes face as a table tennis umpire, so that’s a point I’m really grateful for.”

Singapore has dominated Table Tennis events since the sport was introduced at the Commonwealth Games, taking home a huge 50 medals, with 21 of them Gold. 

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