Four umpires completed their Level 2 (National) qualifications at the recent Mark Bates Ltd Cadet, U17 & Junior National Championships.

David Gatheral, Swee Kiat Lim, Sandy Nash and Ming Fung Ivan Wong all successfully completed their practical assessments at the event in Nottingham, having previously passed their written exam at WTT Feeder Manchester in February.

The quartet have been mentored by experienced umpires to help them achieve their qualifications. It is also noteworthy that Sandy Nash is the first Level 2 umpire from Hertfordshire since David Edwards – one of the assessors – qualified in 1991.

We spoke to all four about their umpiring journeys so far – find out more in the video below.

The newly qualified foursome were part of a wider group of umpires and referees who sat written papers in Manchester. Other members of the group are still being mentored towards qualification.

The process is part of work being undertaken to create a new Technical Officials Academy, which aims to ensure our sport has a sustainable, world-class officiating workforce for the future, in every area of the country.

The Academy will transform the landscape, providing a clear pathway into officiating and the training, mentoring and support that umpires, referees and tournament organisers need at every step of their journey.

As part of this work, candidates with dyslexia were supported to sit their papers in Manchester. Papers were printed on different coloured paper and readers were on hand to support candidates as well.

If you are interested in becoming an umpire, Level 1 Umpires courses are being held across the country in the coming months, including in Birmingham (June 15), Cornwall (September 14), and on dates to be confirmed in Preston, St Neots, Ormesby, Worthing and Wolverhampton.

Click here to register your interest in umpiring course.

Click here to find out more about starting your umpiring journey.

Further up the pathway, a group of nine officials will be sitting their Level 3 (International Umpire) written exams in Milton Keynes in October.