Desislava Bozhilova: who is trailblazing World Snooker Championship 2023 female referee - and is she married?
Desislava Bozhilova has officiated a number of matches at the ongoing World Snooker Championship 2023 tournament
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Major snooker stars like Ronnie O'Sullivan may take all the headlines for outstanding performances at the World Snooker Championship, but the referees that officiate the action at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre often go unnoticed. This includes one of its trailblazing female officials, Desislava Bozhilova, who has been going about her business quietly but effectively.
The event - which this year started on 15 April with its much-anticipated final scheduled for 1 May - has been captivating BBC viewers over the last few weeks with a host of memorable moments. This includes Hossein Vafaei's failed attempt at mind-games during one of the breaks of his clash with nemesis Ronnie O'Sullivan, and Kyren Wilson's impressive 147 break against Ryan Day in the opening round.
It is well documented how important it is to have more female representation in sport, especially for young girls who are looking out for strong and brave women to aspire to. This is prevalent especially in tennis which has huge names like Emma Raducanu and Serena Williams to act as those benchmarks.
Much like most sports - though this is getting lesser-so by the day it seems - snooker is largely male-dominated, especially when it comes to the sport at its highest level. But recently the world of professional snooker has been seeing a number of women enter its world in an officiating capacity.
Here is what you need to know about the trailblazing female snooker referee Desislava Bozhilova. Including her age, where she is from and how much she could be paid for officiating at the World Snooker Championship 2023.
Who is Desislava Bozhilova?
Desislava Bozhilova is one of snooker's rising stars in the refereeing ranks. She is 30-years-old from Bulgaria who holds a master's degree in landscape architecture from the University of Forestry in Sofia.
Bozhilova first played pool before she grew intrigued by snooker, an interest which has seen her become a familiar face in the World Snooker scene after growing from the amateur game. She has cemented herself a reputation of being a safe pair of hands and has gone on to referee at a number of major competitions - including this year's World Snooker Championship.
Her Crucible debut dates back to 2019 and she has gone on to officiate two Triple Crown finals at the 2022 Masters and 2022 UK Championship. Her maiden major final was only in 2016 when she was in charge at the 2016 Riga Masters in Latvia.
Is Desislava Bozhilova married and does she have Instagram?
It remains unknown whether Desislava Bozhilova is married, but the rising star ref is not a single lady. According to her official Instagram, she is in a relationship with fellow female snooker referee Proletina Velichkova and have been dating for at least six years.
How much is Desislava Bozhilova paid to referee at the World Snooker Championship?
Desislava Bozhilova's exact pay for officiating at the World Snooker Championship remains unknown. It is understood that the average World Snooker professional referee takes home around £20,000 per season.
Full list of officials at World Snooker Championship 2023
- Brendan Moore
- Paul Collier
- Olivier Marteel
- Jan Verhaas
- Marcel Eckardt
- Tatiana Woollaston
- Rob Spencer
- Desislava Bozhilova
- Leo Scullion
- Ben Williams