While many eyes have been glued on Kyle Chalmers’ performances in the pool, one Lower Eyre Peninsula teacher has been closer to the actions keeping his eyes on something else.
Tumby Bay resident and Cummins Area School teacher Henry Breen has been busy as a line judge for beach volleyball at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
It's one of the greatest experiences I'll ever have in volleyball.Henry Breen
Mr Breen has been umpiring and officiating volleyball and beach volleyball for eight years and was selected as part of a process that began 18 months ago.
Mr Breen said to be selected he and other officials had to go through three phases, which included officiating at several international events.
“I went to an international event in Shepparton, Victoria, and two in Manly, New South Wales, to be selected,” he said.
Beach volleyball has made its Commonwealth Games debut on the Gold Coast.
Mr Breen said to be a part of the sports’ debut at the Commonwealth Games has been a great experience, as has meeting some of the best beach volleyballers in the world.
Queensland sports official Desmond Johnston took the oath on behalf of all officials, including Mr Breen, at the opening ceremony on April 4.
Mr Breen said there was some pressure to ensure the right decision was made but players had the right to challenge a decision.
He said working with player challenges ensured “we are kept on our game and do the best we can.”
Mr Breen said he had been hearing from staff at Cummins Area School, who in turn had been relaying to students when matches he was officiating were on.
“The kids have been keen to watch some volleyball,” he said.
When he is not officiating a match Mr Breen has been watching some of the matches as well as seeing the sights of the Gold Coast.
Beach volleyball wraps up with the medal matches on Thursday.
Mr Breen said he would have officiated at about 12 matches by the time beach volleyball finished and would leave the Gold Coast on Saturday.
With his Commonwealth Games duties nearly complete, Mr Breen said he aimed to go up from a level three judge to level four, as well as officiate more international events in volleyball and beach volleyball.
But he said he would never forget the experience he had during the Commonwealth Games.
“It's one of the greatest experiences I'll ever have in volleyball,” he said.