Enjoying my umpiring

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It’s been 20 years since Peter Tunbridge pulled on a pair of football boots as a star footballer for Ballarat Football League but he has since returned to the AFL oval in his fifties – this time as an umpire.

The son of Melbourne legend Geoff Tunbridge decided to take up umpiring last year after his own kids got involved in the sport. Peter hasn’t looked back and is enjoying every second out on the field with the whistle in hand.

Much to his surprise, Peter’s fitness levels have improved and the community around him have embraced his new found interest in umpiring.

In an interview with ABC radio in the lead up to Thanks Ump Round, Peter reveals his satisfaction umpiring AFL every week in the Ballarat Football League.

“One of the good things about it [umpiring] is improving your fitness. I’m over fifty now and it has gotten me off my bum and got me moving again,” Peter told ‘The Coodabeen Champions’ on ABC local radio.

“The great thing was that I got to do it with my sons. We used to train together and we’d organise games that we’d umpire together. He’s moved on ahead of me now umpiring the more senior games.”

A few weeks ago, the AFL and all leagues throughout the country, took part in Thanks Ump Round – to encourage everyone involved in AFL to create a positive match-day environment for umpires to perform at their peak.

Peter told ‘The Coodabeen Champions’ that respect for umpiring has improved since his playing days and encourages people to get involved.
“Nowadays the attitude towards umpires is really good, much better than when I was playing. People are pretty positive, I don’t cop much,” he said.

“You can run at your own pace and there’s no abuse to worry about ... I don’t hear it (sledging), people really appreciate what you are doing and after the game you get a lot of support from people watching.

“It’s really enjoyable, I recommend it to anybody and if you’re thinking about doing it or think you’re too old to do it and you want to get back involved jump back in there.”

Click here to listen to the full interview on ABC local radio.

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