It is important that clubs support the Umpiring is Everyone's Business campaign.

Junior Clubs Support Umpires

Thursday, September 16, 2010

By Ben Forrest and Jackson Paine

Two junior football clubs—Lakes Junior Football Club in WA and Coolum Beach Breakers Junior Football Club in QLD—have won the Umpiring is Everyone’s Business Competition.

The AFL places great importance on ensuring everyone involved in football, from grassroots level to the national league, support umpires and understand the difficulty of their jobs.

The AFL’s Umpiring is Everyone’s Business campaign is part of the initiative to promote proper codes of conduct and treatment towards umpires.

Clubs around the nation were asked to submit their strategies on building a strong culture of umpire support within their football club.

After many great nominations—all of which could have been worthy winners—the first prize of a pair of Arnette Rage XC Sunglasses was awarded to Karen Satterthwaite from the Lakes Junior Football Club in Western Australia.

Kylie Wisken from the Coolum Beach Breakers Junior Football Club in Queensland was a close runner up, winning a pair of Oakley Gascan Sunglasses.

Both prizes were supplied courtesy of OPSM, the leading provider of eye care and eyewear in Australia and New Zealand, helping over one million people to see better each year.

Both recipients reiterated their clubs’ strong friendliness towards umpires and how “umpire respect, good sportsmanship and appropriate spectator behaviour” are all constantly reinforced throughout their competitions.

Through enforcing the Code of Conduct towards umpires, reminding parents of the difference between green and orange-shirted umpires and providing water and support during match breaks, the Lakes Junior Football Club is fostering a positive club environment.  They are also one of the few clubs in the district that offers umpires free food and drink from the canteen after the game.

“We have received good feedback from umpires, the umpires coordinator and mentor about the way we treat umpires,” Karen said. “They like to umpire at our Club.”

Coolum Beach Breakers Junior Football Club also take comprehensive steps to ensure umpires are well looked after.

“We educate all members of our club, players, parents, coaches and spectators to be respectful of umpires and accept decisions made without question,” Kylie said. “We greet umpires in a friendly manner, welcome them to our ground and offer refreshments and water at each quarter break. In times of frustration we focus on the fact that umpires are human and it is a difficult job.”

Although the 2010 competition has closed, the Umpiring is Everyone’s Business campaign continues, urging the supporters of our game to treat umpires with respect and understand that sometimes it can be difficult umpiring a game of Australian Football.

 

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