Why an Official?
Tom Sweeney – Chair Umpire
Tom Sweeney is a full time professional tennis official, who started his career at 16 years of age when the Australian Pro Tour came to his hometown, Benalla, in north-east Victoria.
By the time Tom had completed Year 12 and moved on to University, he was regularly working as a Line Umpire as his summer job.
Tom then started working at the Australian Open as a Line Umpire, which piqued his interest in becoming a Chair Umpire.
Progressing through Tennis Australia’s Chair Umpire development program, Tom obtained international qualifications from the ITF, passing his White Badge school in Melbourne in 2008 and going on to obtain his Bronze Badge in New Delhi, India, in 2010.
He was promoted to a Silver Badge Chair Umpire in 2013, placing him amongst the top 74 Chair Umpires in the world.
Tom has worked as a Chair Umpire at all four Grand Slams and at a number of Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties around the world.
His career highlights include umpiring two Mixed Doubles finals and a Women’s Doubles final at the Australian Open.
“Whether working as a linesperson or a Chair Umpire, tennis officiating is a rewarding pursuit for any lover of tennis, or sport in general.
“I enjoy the challenges it presents, the places it can take you and the people you meet along the way. I love the buzz and electricity you feel every time you step on to Rod Laver Arena.
“We are very lucky in Australia to have a world class event right here at home.”
Cheryl Jenkins – Chair Umpire/Chief of Officials
Cheryl Jenkins, 34, is a wife and mother of one, and a child care worker. She started out as a ballkid in 1985 and has now gained accreditation as a Chief of Umpires.
“I have been very fortunate to officiate around the world. Officiating requires a strong knowledge and understanding of the rules of tennis, teamwork, great communication skills and fantastic organisational skills.
“I’m looking forward to the challenges of being a Chief of Umpires while still working with interesting and diverse people at tournaments like the Brisbane International.
“I’ve been an official at two Olympic games and on Centre Court at all four Grand Slams. The best bit has been meeting and working with people from all over the world who all have the same passion for tennis. I’ve travelled all over Australia, and all over the world.”
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