This series puts the spotlight on Badminton New Zealand's powerhouse technical officials. Get ready to be inspired by their motivations, fun facts, and pro-tips!
Meet Julie Carrel, a true jack-of-all-trades in the world of badminton. From representing New Zealand as a player at the Commonwealth Games to being a former National Champion, delivering the BWF World Junior Championships 2007, and successfully leading the New Zealand Open for over a decade, Julie has done it all! Julie is a highly respected referee and is currently officiating the 2023 Sudirman Cup in Suzhou, China. On top of all that, Julie serves as the Secretary General of Badminton Oceania.
Despite her busy schedule, Julie always finds time to give back to technical official development in New Zealand. A recent highlight was the National Referee Development weekend that she organised in May.
At Badminton New Zealand, we're excited to continue working with Julie to develop technical officials and deliver outstanding events for many years to come!
Role: BWF Referee (since 2014)
Association: North Harbour
Best Kiwi Holiday Destination: Cooks Beach. We have a holiday house there, so it's my place to chill out and go fishing.
Favourite Travel Meal: Ice Cream and Coffee!!
Tell us about your background in badminton prior to officiating.
I started playing at intermediate school and represented New Zealand for 12 years. Since the late 1980's I've worked in badminton across a variety of roles, starting off in coaching, then moving into administration and events. A highlight was running the BWF World Junior Championships in 2007 and the New Zealand Open from 2004, including taking over the management rights and running the Open through my own business between 2013-18. Running the New Zealand Open gave me greater insight into the role and responsibilities of a Referee and provided me with invaluable tools and a greater understanding of how top level events operate.
What do you enjoy most about officiating?
So much, including meeting people, travelling to new places, watching world-class badminton and just spending time giving back to a sport which I am very passionate about.
Do you have a dream event to attend or goal to achieve?
I would love to officiate at an Olympic Games, although opportunities are very limited for Referees. I have been fortunate to already have attended some of the top events in the world, including the All England Championships.
What is your best badminton story?
I will never forget the roof falling in at the Vietnam Open 2014. We were very lucky that nobody was injured or killed in that incident; the good thing was a new venue was found and that tournament restarted 20 hours after the collapse.
I also went to the Nigeria Open as a Referee in 2019 which was definitely an experience, not sure it is one that I would look to do again.
Most events provide a new story, you never know what will happen and what challenge will be thrown your way. Thankfully, I like challenges!
What is your top tip that you would like to share with our officiating community?
Keep up to date with the rules and regulations, don't be afraid to ask others for help or their opinion and keep looking at other events to learn. But most importantly, keep enjoying what you do, if you don't enjoy it, don't do it.
If you're interested in following in Julie's footsteps and beginning your career as a badminton referee, please reach out to the Badminton New Zealand Technical Official Committee (email@example.com).