Monday, May 27, 2024

Gingell and Santamaria named first professional squash referees

Roy Gingell and Andrea Santamaria have been appointed as squash’s first ever full-time professional referees.

World Squash Officiating (WSO) – the organisation dedicated to the regulation and development of squash officiating worldwide – has made Gingell its Professional Referee and Development Lead.

The Welshman is one of the sport’s most experienced referees and first began officiating in the 1980s. As well as officiating at the sport’s biggest tournaments, Gingell will focus on the development and training of referees in addition to developing the appraisal process.

Meanwhile, Santamaria will take on the role of Professional Referee and Educator. The Yorkshirewoman began her refereeing journey in 2013 and has established herself as one of the finest referees in the sport. She will continue to officiate at the top level and work with member nations to support the development of their referees.

The drive to professionalise squash refereeing was reported by Squash Mad back in March in an interview with WSO head Lee Drew.

WSO – established in a partnership between the World Squash Federation (WSF) and PSA in 2019 – was created to develop a more qualified and diverse referee community. WSO provides a complete pathway of globally recognised courses from the grassroots level to the pinnacle of the game with an aim of improving refereeing performance and enhancing player education.

Gingell said: “It’s a great honour to be appointed as one of the first full-time professional referees. With over 25 years of refereeing at the highest level, I am looking to share the wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained to support and develop refereeing all over the world.”

Santamaria (pictured above) added: “It’s a huge privilege to become the first female professional referee in what can only be described as a new era in squash officiating, and hopefully I can inspire any aspiring female referees.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work full time with a team that has so much knowledge and experience in the game of squash and who are invested in the development of referees around the world.”

Drew said: “Employing two professional referees is an important first step towards professionalising officiating and bridging the gap between the professional game and the referees who officiate at that level. This is about showing that refereeing can be a career for those that have the ability and want to be involved in the game beyond playing.

“Referee development is also a vital element of the role, it’s about spreading a consistent message and sharing knowledge to increase the levels of officiating globally by working with federations. It is an exciting time and very progressive, but there is also a lot of work ahead for all involved.”

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