Sports

Simcoe man officiated at recent Commonwealth Games

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

Simcoe squash official Dave Howard was the only Canadian selected to work at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. Contributed Photo

Simcoe squash official Dave Howard was the only Canadian selected to work at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. Contributed Photo

SIMCOE  - 

Dave Howard hadn't been playing squash that long when he decided officiating the sport would be a wise choice.

“It started in 1992,” he said. “I was playing some squash and I wasn't very happy about some of the people I played. We reffed each other's matches and I decided I should probably make sure I knew the rules before I complained about them so I took a course and went on from there.”

These days Howard – who moved to Simcoe 15 years ago - is an international level official who in April was the only Canadian selected to work at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. The competition took place at Oxenford Studios just north of the Gold Coast.

“I'm proud of my accomplishments and I was very proud to be there,” he said.

“The excitement level was high and it was pretty awesome. We had a great group of referees and we kind of hung out together. We had a lot of fun, let's put it that way.”

Howard had very little time to recover from a hectic travel schedule and 14-hour time difference following the games. He was home just a few days before heading to Calgary for the 2018 Canadian Squash Championships, which ran May 1-5.

“I was going to skip it this year because I had only been back from Australia for a few days,” Howard said. “But my arm got twisted and I decided to go.”

Having been involved in the sport for many years, Howard said the key to being a strong official lies with one's approach to the game and a tournament environment.

“The better referees have a nice, cool temperament and are able to deal with the stress without showing it,” he said.

jrobinson@postmedia.com