August has been a big month for South Australian umpires with two reaching new heights.
Georgina Sulley-Beales has become the first South Australian umpire to officiate a Suncorp Super Netball match and Premier League umpire Dan Roe has been awarded his National A Badge.
Georgina made her umpiring debut in Round 11 of Suncorp Super Netball in Canberra when the Queensland Firebirds took on Giants Netball in what turned out to be one of the most physical games of the season.
Reflecting on the experience Georgina said that when she first received the email from Netball Australia saying she would be debuting she was surprised.
“I initially felt surprised when I got the email. But after it settled in, I just felt real excitement for the opportunity to step out on the SSN court.”
“I had the best umpiring team to experience this game with. I really enjoyed every second and have taken a lot of learning from that game. It was such a cool moment to be standing on the sideline with Helen George pre-match and certainly a match I won’t forget!”
When Georgina got the call up to umpire Suncorp Super Netball, Roz Fraser Workforce Manager at Netball SA said she may have been more excited that Georgina.
“To be honest I think I was more excited than she was! I was extremely happy and proud that all her hard work was paying off and she had been provided an opportunity to take the next step in the pathway,” Roz said.
With Georgina’s success in the national league, it was also just as exciting to see Dan Roe’s success in the state premier league. In Round 12 of the Netball SA Premier League, Dan was tested for his A Badge in the match between Metro Jets and Matrics Netball Club.
Dan’s achievement has rounded the number to 10 current South Australian umpires who hold a National A Badge. Talking about receiving his A Badge, Dan said he was shocked when he found out he was successful.
“It was a shock, but a really good one! This year I’ve focused on putting out consistent performances every week and so getting my A Badge has been a combination of hard work and consistency,” said Dan
Dan is the second umpire this year to receive his National A Badge with Justin Smedley receiving his during the National Netball Championships.
“It’s really exciting to have our second National A Badge awarded this year and we’re so happy for Dan as we know how hard he has worked to get there,” said Roz.
This year, Netball SA has further invested in their umpire development programs through employing Dianne Cocker, an AA Umpire Coach from Netball Queensland, as the new High Performance Umpire Coach.
“We’ve been working on making our umpiring pathways more accessible and employing Di has been a big bonus for us,” said Roz.
“Di has helped guide our panels with some mentoring tips which has helped cement those final points we needed to get people tested for their A Badges.”
Di has been a part of both Georgina’s and Dan’s umpiring journey with Di working with Georgina as part of her national role as an Emerging Talent Mentor and with Dan in her capacity at Netball SA.
Dan Roe said having Di on board in a mentoring role helped provide a fresh perspective on his own development.
“Having Di on board has been really good. She has been able to provide a different style of coaching and been able to help me tweak some of my style. Working with Di, Graeme Gilbert and the other umpire mentors has been really helpful for me, ” said Dan.
To find out more about the Netball SA umpiring pathways, click here.