A TABLE tennis coach has been appointed as a referee for this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Halton Table Tennis Club and Halton Stadium's Karen Tonge has been appointed as table tennis and para table tennis referee for the 2022 games in Birmingham and will ‘lead a strong and diverse group of English officials’.

The ‘vastly experienced referee’ was competition manager the last time the Commonwealth Games were held in England, in Manchester in 2002.

Cllr Mark Dennett, Halton Borough Councill's executive board member for corporate services, said: "This is yet another feather in Karen's cap.

“It is a fantastic honour, and nobody deserves it more."

Chris Newton, who has been co-ordinating the umpire training and selection process for Table Tennis England, said: “This is for sure our most diverse umpiring team at a major games.

“Table Tennis England has been working very closely with the Technical Officials’ Committee over the past three years getting this team qualified to the correct standard and then offering them sufficient ongoing CPD support to be ready and competent to deliver at the Games.

“I would like to thank all those established umpires and referees who have given their time to support our new batch of umpires on this journey, and I look forward to seeing them perform in Birmingham this summer.”

All selected officials will also preside over the Mark Bates Ltd Senior National Championships at the end of March.