Kelly Hoare started umpiring badminton 20 years ago to ‘get the best seat in the house’ and she’ll certainly have that when she represents Australia at the upcoming Rio Olympic Games in August.
Ms Hoare was chosen by a panel to officiate at the games out of all the umpires in the Oceania region.
While she had been umpiring badminton matches overseas for some time now, she said the Olympics was something special and she been a line judge at the Sydney Olympics.
“I’m pretty excited, it’s fantastic,” she said.
“I’m also a bit nervous but you have to be nervous otherwise you’re not on your game.
“It makes you aware and ready to go.”
Ms Hoare, from Kelmscott, started umpiring during her time at the Armadale Badminton Club.
“I played as a child and my parents played and when I was at the Armadale Badminton Club, Badminton WA sent out some umpires to teach people how to umpire properly so I thought I’d go along and do it and that was 20 years ago,” she said.
She said she loved the sport and camaraderie between umpires.
“It’s the fastest racquet sport in the world and umpiring you get the best seat in the house,” she said.
“They hit the shuttle at 300 to 450km/h a hundred times in a rally.
“It’s a great sport to watch, we don’t see it too much in Australia, obviously, but it’s huge in other countries.
“The camaraderie between all the umpires is great too, I travel around the world three or four times a year now and I know people around the world, which is fantastic.”
To ensure her skills are sharp enough for Rio, Ms Hoare will travel to Sydney for the Australian Badminton Open in June to umpire.