Table Tennis Canada has a new International Referee with Marzieh Hakimara. We took some time to talk to her about the experience and what is happen next. 

How long did it take you to finish it?

The course including the written exam and the interview took 4 days. But preparing for this course requires years of working in this field and gaining experience.

What was involved in taking it?

One of the condition to be eligible to take this course was passing the ARE within the past three years, which I did. Then every candidate should have prior experience as a referee and as an International umpire.

Why did you sign up for the program?

Table tennis is my passion. I started playing table tennis 48 years ago and I was in Iran’s national team. I started coaching when I was 18 years old and later I was doing umpiring as well. I love to be involved in activities related to table tennis. 

What is your first event as International Referee?

I do not know yet. To be appointed as an international referee, either ITTF URC has to invite me or I would need to apply for tournaments that have open invitation for an international referee.

What is your next goal when it comes to officiating?

I’m going to go through Gold Badge umpire program.

What were the dates of the events?

This year I took part in Grand Smash (Singapore) in March 2022 and World Youth Championships (Tunisia) in December 2022.

How long have you been officiating? When did you become Provincial and/or National Referee?

I started officiating as an umpire 38 years ago in Iran and have been officiating as a National referee about 28 years ago. When I came to Canada, I was asked to take the Canadian National referee course. I took the course and became a National Referee after passing the written exam and the evaluations in 2017.

Where do you live now? 

I’m currently living in Montreal. For sure I will participate in some events in 2023. The event’s calendar is not released yet. As you know officiating in major events is not 100% in our control and I have to wait to see for which event I will be invited by ITTF or WTT.

We are excited to see your roles in future international events as referee and hopefully soon as gold badge umpire. Wishing you only the very best!!!