Xiamen, China, April 23, 2017 – Stephen Giugni refereed his final FIVB World Tour match at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open 2017 as he steps down from his FIVB World Tour post of twenty years.
If you have been an FIVB World Tour player in the past twenty years, chances are you have had at least one match refereed by Melbourne, Australia based referee Giugni.
Giugni refereed his last FIVB World Tour match, the Xiamen Open 2017 women’s final between China’s Fan Wang and Yue Yuan and Brazil’s Barbara Seixas De Freitas and Fernanda Alves, and takes a look back at a long career.
“My most memorable match? Today, refereeing in front of a big Chinese crowd and one thing I will really remember for a long time is Barbara, after the match walked up to me and asked if she could hug me and said a big thank you for being a referee and contributing to the sport. So that makes me feel really proud to have contributed and really happy to be a part of her winning the gold medal match today,” said Giugni.
“I got into refereeing largely through playing, it’s a great way to enjoy the sport and it’s a great position to actually watch the sport when you get a little bit older and can’t play that well.
“It’s certainly the best place in the arena to actually watch the game from and one of the great things is all the great people who I’ve met in my career across the line, twenty years across the world, some really special friends and it’s a wonderful way to enjoy the sport that I love.
“The tournaments are all great, I’ve spent more time in Asia than other parts of the world and more time in China, I’ve made a lot of great friends in China, so China is probably one of my favourite destinations,” said Giugni.
It’s my last week this week and there’s been a lot of special matches, particularly yesterday, there was a lot of great quarterfinal matches which were really enjoyable,” said Giugni.
And Giugni’s answer to dealing with challenges on court?
“Players are really why the sport exists and so it’s about managing any issues with the players with respect, so that we can promote the game and promote the sport,” said Giugni.