Michael Brooks to Referee at Women's World Champs!
Waitakere Water Polo Club is sending its best wishes to our own club referee and senior player Michael Brooks. Brooks will be departing for Budapest as an offical referee representing New Zealand at the Fina Women's World Championships!
From New Zealand Water Polo:
FINA, the international body for aquatic sport, last week released the official list of referees for the 17th FINA World Aquatic Championships in Budapest in July.
Kiwi Michael Brooks will be one of 27 referees at the world championships and will travel with the New Zealand women’s team.
The Auckland-based referee - who has recently moved to Tauranga - has a wealth of international refereeing experience. He has attended three youth world championships, where he refereed two bronze medal matches: one here in Auckland in December last year. Budapest will be his first world championships at open level.
“It is a real honour. Those [youth world championships] experiences will help going into my first senior event” said Brooks.
The 31 year-old has been refereeing for 18 years, but is just as sharp in the water as he is on the pool deck. The left-hander played for New Zealand up to junior level, and has been an instrumental part of the Waitakere Blue Devils’ line up in the National League for a number of years. He says that balancing all aspects of the sport has been a rewarding challenge.
“Balancing refereeing, playing, and coaching has always been challenging. There are a lot of benefits from keeping the playing part going for my refereeing.”
From refereeing intermediate games at West Wave in 1999, Brooks has gone on to play, referee, and coach for New Zealand all over the world and says that naturally there is one more step to take.
“The Olympics has to be a goal. As a player, coach, or official in water polo it is the highest you can go.”
For any eager referees out there, as a Kiwi anything is achievable. Three referees have officiated at the last three Olympic Games (Cory Williams – London 2012, Steve Knights – Beijing 2008, Liz Burman – Athens 2004).