Rocky pair officiate at games



IN BETWEEN selling pies on Gladstone Road, Rockhampton's Joe Clifton knows he has to have another look over the table tennis rule book.

Clifton is umpiring the table tennis at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games which run from March 15-26.

This will be Clifton's highest umpiring honour, having previously represented Australia on the World Junior circuit in Fiji and Noumea last year.

Clifton leaves Rockhampton on March 13 and will not discover his umpiring commitments until the Games start ? being one of 44 umpires vying for the 16 positions available each day of competition.

"I arrive and get my accreditation and uniform, there's an umpires briefing on Tuesday, then venue formalisation and then a practice try-out ? a dress rehearsal ? before attending the opening ceremony on the Wednesday.''

Fellow Rockhampton table tennis fan Allan Clarke is also on inaugural Commonwealth Games duties as the Australian table tennis team manager.

Clarke arrives at the athletes village on Sunday.

"I have to make sure they have a smooth induction into the village,'' said Clarke, who was Australian team manager in 2004 at the Oceanias in New Zealand and Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of making sure everything works right for the athletes and for Australia's sake.



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