The Bright Achievers of the Coloured Shirt Program


We’re thrilled at the umpiring badging success associations are seeing within the Coloured Shirt Program, which helps to develop new netball officials and mentors.

The Coloured Shirt Program is an important initiative by the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing in association with Netball SA. The program helps to support and make new or inexperienced officials easily recognisable to players, coaches and spectators.

The program, which is free for associations and clubs, acts as a key initial step along the Netball SA Umpiring Pathway, through practical and theoretical components to develop knowledge and skills in umpiring. It aims to develop and progress new officials toward a National C Badge and on retaining these new officials for years to come.

Participants in the program receive support from a mentor at training and matches, and access to resources to assist with their learning.

The program is open to all who have less than two years umpiring experience, are currently unbadged and are a registered Netball SA member. Participants must also be willing to complete a Rules of Netball Theory Exam (pass mark of 70% is required) and a Foundation Umpire Education Course.

The River Murray Netball Association and Port Lincoln Netball Association have seen great success with their C Badge achievements in 2019.

Port Lincoln have had four umpires from Coloured Shirt Program achieve their C Badge in 2019 and the River Murray have had eight.

Alana Jantke, participated in the program through the Port Lincoln Netball Association and appreciated all the support the program offered for her development.

“The Coloured Shirt Program was the starting point for my umpiring adventure. It assisted me in more ways than just learning to umpire. I gained confidence, knowledge of the game and developed as a player too. The program and its mentors were extremely welcoming, encouraging and answered any questions that I had, and had my back if I was faced with an issue during a game,” said Alana.

Alana successfully earned her C Badge and now enjoys taking on a mentoring role for new participants.

“Upon finishing the program, I obtained my C badge and now I am giving back to the program and assisting junior umpires whenever I can. I am enjoying passing on the knowledge, techniques and feedback I once received in the program. It is so good to see the program expanding each year and seeing more juniors enjoying themselves and getting into umpiring.”

Jade Simpson, also from the Port Lincoln Netball Association, says she loved the opportunity to join the program early in her umpiring journey.

“I had been umpiring for a year prior to being nominated for the Coloured Shirt Program. I had never even heard of the program before, but I decided it would be a great opportunity to improve my umpiring skills, so I jumped at the chance,” said Jade.

Jade says her mentor played a crucial role in her development.

“Every step of the way I had a consistent mentor that provided relevant and helpful advice that was both achievable and easy for me to understand. I began perfecting the simple skills initially but then was introduced to others gradually when my mentor thought I was capable to utilise them. With my mentor encouraging me throughout this journey, I was able to build my self-confidence and, therefore, improving my consistency in blowing the whistle.”

Jade says she would highly recommend the program to others interested in pursuing umpiring and would love the opportunity to take on mentoring roles in the future.

“I would definitely recommend the program to any up and coming umpire, the people involved give you the encouragement needed to continue and reassurance that what you are doing is right.”

“My experience in the Coloured Shirts Program that led me to obtaining my C Badge would help anyone looking at becoming a qualified umpire both within the club and association. It has shown others that with some help and commitment anyone can achieve their goals of becoming a badged umpire.”

“I would love and be honoured to be a mentor myself to umpires that are committed and determined to achieve their goal. It would be an excellent opportunity not only for them, but also for me to improve my skills by analysing their games to help when I umpire. Being able to give advice, encouragement and leading them through their journey to achieving their C Badge would be so rewarding when they eventually accomplish their goal.”

River Murray Netball Association Umpire Coordinator, Bev Dalwood, says the Association is pleased with the success rate the clubs within the Association have achieved within the program.

“The clubs within the River Murray Netball Association have been participating in the Coloured Shirt Program for several years now and all umpires that have applied for practical testing were successful in achieving their National C Badge,” said Bev.

“In 2018, I was responsible for six umpires in the program, aged between 13 and 15, and all except one achieved their badges in the first year of the program. All continue to receive ongoing mentoring.”

“In 2019/2020 there are eight Coloured Shirt Program umpires, aged 12 and 13, who require the two years to gain confidence to complete the program. All are extremely enthusiastic in becoming umpires and eagerly participate in the activities.”

“The younger girls just soak up the information as they have no preconceived ideas and can be moulded from the beginning.”

Bev says its pleasing to see former participants take on mentoring roles.

“One of our umpires, Laura Werner, achieved her accreditation in 2017 and by early 2018 was already eager to take on a mentoring role. Since then she has actively assisted in the development of the umpires.  Laura often comments about how much she enjoyed participating in the Coloured Shirt Program and now loves to impart her knowledge to novice umpires.”

To learn more about this free program and register your Club or Association, To Register your Association or Club click here.