Throughout 2018 Netball SA have had five Bench Official Accreditations, three State Accreditations and two National Accreditations.
Across the 16-17 June weekend, Heather Coutts obtained her National Bench Official Accreditation. Netball SA caught up with her following the achievement.
How did you get involved in becoming a Bench Official?
Combination, we needed an Oakdale representative on the bench to compete in state league and Marlene Lang recommended it to me as I was getting injured and ill a lot and was off the court more than on the court. She felt my umpire knowledge would help being on the bench and it allowed me to still be part of the game.
What do you like about being a Bench Official?
I like the friendships I have made, I feel I am still apart of the game and I am helping both the umpires and the teams with the information we provide.
How did you feel in the lead up to being tested for your National Accreditation?
Nervous as hell, even though I have been doing this for years, I still freaked out prior. Thankfully I have a supportive team that put me at ease and working with the team I had I knew they had my back and vice versa.
Do you want to take your Bench Officiating further (ie. Officiate SSN, Commonwealth Games etc.)?
If so, what is your goal? Definitely, I absolutely love every aspect of bench officiating and the friendships I have Australia-wide due to my vast netball experience. I would love to travel and represent my country in this aspect.
Would you recommend becoming a Bench Official? Why/why not?
Definitely, and have and will continue to do so. I love bench officiating and I hope more of my friends can come and join me on the bench. Just the friendships you make being involved is great. For example getting a hug from the Assistant Coach of the QLD Fusion, Garry Pashen (who I’ve known for years through Indoor Netball) after the first Fusion vs Southern Force game, just shows you that netball friendships last a lifetime and that is what this experience is about.