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22 January 2020
Regional football leaders have ramped up a call for umpires as part of a build-up to the approaching season.
AFL Wimmera Mallee umpires manager Howard Schier said a variety of umpiring opportunities existed for people keen to pursue, remain in or explore a new dimension of the game.
“We have positions for field, goal and boundary umpires in what represents a rewarding opportunity for people to be part of a team but to also earn reimbursement for their efforts,” he said.
“We are encouraging people who might be retiring from, but still interested in, being involved in a winter sport to step forward and have a go.
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“People keen to have gradual introduction to the game as an umpire might like to start by going through boundary-umpiring duties and then progress. Others who might feel they are too immobile to run as a field or boundary umpire, might slot in beautifully to goal-umpiring positions. There are many opportunities.”
Mr Schier said umpires underwent coaching at weekly training sessions in Horsham and experienced mentors led participants through the physical and psychological aspects of the game.
“They also undergo an accreditation process, which can allow them to officiate at more senior levels should opportunities arise,” he said.
“These days umpiring can be anything from someone putting their hand up for a weekly volunteer effort to a professional pathway into the game.
“It’s been a wonderful evolution in our game. But we need people to take it on.”
Mr Schier reminded clubs across the region that competition’s could not proceed without on-ground officials and any help they could provide in recruiting umpires was always welcome.
“We all know someone in our club passionate about the game who might need to do something extra beyond providing volunteer duties. They might feel they are too old for football’s physicality, have an injury that has sidelined them from footy, or simply struggles to get to the game,” he said.
“In recognising the value of these people in roles as umpires is a wonderful opportunity for them to keep hands-on touch with the game.
“Umpiring football is one of the rare activities where someone can combine physical exercise with developing confidence, leadership and skill development.
“It can also be a nice little sideline to raise a few dollars and if someone gets right into the umpiring program it can be quite lucrative.”
Mr Schier said AFL Wimmera Mallee, through its umpires program, would ideally like to be in a position to provide umpires for all levels of Wimmera and Horsham District leagues.
“Of course that’s in a perfect world. The reality is that the more umpires we can get the better we can fulfil this type of goal,” he said.
People keen to explore football umpiring or other information can call Mr Schier on 0439 820 780.
The entire January 22, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!