National C Badge Umpires for 2010 are Debbie Corrigan, Courtney Ram, Liz Van Der Kieboom, Lyn Newport, Stephanie Biskup and Karen Collin.
National C Badge Umpires for 2010 are Debbie Corrigan, Courtney Ram, Liz Van Der Kieboom, Lyn Newport, Stephanie Biskup and Karen Collin. Submitted

Five umpires awarded accreditation

WHILE most sports are struggling to retain and foster umpires and referees, Bundaberg Netball can boast the opposite.

Five of their aspiring umpires were awarded National C-standard accreditation this season, meaning they can now officiate at Queensland carnivals and tournaments.

At this season's Regional Day held in Maryborough, Netball Queensland representatives were in awe of the quality of the umpires Bundaberg is producing, stating Bundaberg has larger numbers wanting to be nationally badged than the bigger Brisbane associations.

According to Bundaberg Netball president Karen Holloway, the quality of the umpires is due largely to the dedication and passion for umpiring shown by Lyn Newport and her helpers Helen Rohen and Justine Halpin.

“A rules discussion group is held for 12 and 13-year-old aspiring umpires, so it is not unusual to see 15 and 16 year olds stepping up to the plate and taking the next step,” Holloway said.

“The work put in at the ground level is obvious when Bundaberg travels away to carnivals not only within the region, but also at state-level carnivals.”

Newport has also volunteered her time this season to develop umpires within the Wide Bay Region by becoming mentor to the Wide Bay Talent Identified Umpires (TID).

Last weekend 10 of the TID umpires went to Kingaroy to participate in a training day with the RAS Ergon Energy Wide Bay Regional Netball Academy, where they trained with former Australian coach, Jill McIntosh.



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