During world competitions, viewers often tend to watch with admiration the exploits of athletes competing for the honors of a meet. It is quite normal that this is so, considering that this is a group of individuals who are at the top of their game.
We tend to forget that the officials who dictate the rules of these meetings are also at their own world championship. They are there because they are considered the best in their profession. This is the case of Eric Desroches, originally from Edmundston, who is among the best badminton officials in the world.
The 42-year-old has just returned from the city of Gold Coast, Australia, after refereeing at the World Mixed Team Badminton Championship which took place May 21-28.
Éric Desroches near his badminton umpire chair. – Courtesy
“After the Olympics, this is the second biggest tournament in the badminton world. In fact, you can compare this tournament to the Stanley Cup final in hockey, ”he revealed.
The physical education teacher was obviously very happy to have had the chance to participate in such an important event. Although he has a lot of experience, his presence at the Surdiman Cup had a special meaning for him.
“I participated in the Olympic Games in Rio last summer and this tournament is of equal importance to me. The dynamics were different since the competition was by team, so the players defended the honors of their country in addition to their individual honor. So there were a lot more emotions during the meetings, ”he said.
In addition, the services of Eric Desroches were retained for two games during the final series. This is an impressive achievement, considering that only five major officials were selected to officiate these playoffs out of a total of 25 officials who had started the tournament. The pressure to perform well was therefore enormous.
“I love this job, but I have to admit that the pressure is much higher than when I teach in my high school! The matches are televised and there are a dozen cameras around the field which scrutinize our every decision. It should be remembered that the flywheel travels at around 400 km / h globally. I must therefore be focused and well alert throughout the discussions, ”he explained.
The main interested party does not hide it, he has made a number of sacrifices over the past fifteen years in order to satisfy his passion. He is also grateful to the people who allow him to carry out his professional duties while competing abroad.
“Only last summer, on my eight weeks of teaching leave, I was out of the province for more than five weeks to officiate for different competitions. Also, I often travel to attend training courses. In addition, I consider myself privileged to have the support of the school district and my school, the Cité des jeunes A.-M.-Sormany. Without it, it would be impossible for me to participate in these events, ”he said.
The next two months will not be less busy for Éric Desroches. Indeed, it will be automatically for three major competitions. First, he’ll be heading to Calgary in July for the Canadian Open. The following week, he will take part in the Pan American Championship in Toronto. Finally, after three weeks of rest, his services will be required for the Individual World Championship presented in Glasgow, Scotland.