Commonwealth Games – Birmingham 2022

Congratulations to Scottish Referee Jonathan Whitaker on his appointment as Deputy Referee for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022.
This is not his first Commonwealth Games though, as he has attended and officiated at every Games since Melbourne in 2006, where he gained his first qualifications as a Blue Badge umpire.
Jonathan has retained the coveted Blue Badge status continuously since 2006, which requires passing a formal assessment at a senior tournament on average at least once per year. During that time he has officiated at the London Olympics, 12 World Championships, 4 European Championships and numerous open TT events throughout the world. His travels include multiple visits to Australia, Japan and China and many European countries and he recently attended the World Championships in Houston, Texas.
Asked about his career, Jonathan said:

“I passed my International Umpires exam in 2004 and in 2005 I umpired at the European Championships in Denmark. I was fortunate to be mentored by English umpire Stan Clarke and later by Welsh umpire Peter Higgins who gave me the benefit of their experience and advice”.

However Jonathan is also an International Referee and I asked him how that came about. He explained:

“The Commonwealth Games for Scotland wished to support the legacy from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and prior to that event they funded my taking the International Referees course in Denmark in 2012. After that I was Deputy Referee at Glasgow 2014 and I have officiated at several Open Events as well as Para TT Events”.
Asked whether he preferred to referee or umpire, Jonathan said:

“I enjoy both, referees have to work longer hours but the umpires are very much in the front line and need to concentrate 100% for extended periods. The referee has to support the umpires and the players so that everyone has an enjoyable tournament”.

Best Regards,
Terry McLernon MBE