When Colleen Bond received Sport Southland's prestigious Services to Sport Award recently it completed a significant week for netball umpires from Gore.
Colleen, a former International Umpire, is currently a Netball Development Officer for Netball Southland with special responsibility for umpire development. She spends hours each week both at work and in her "spare' time coaching and developing umpires throughout Southland.
As she still takes to the courts to umpire most weeks herself she is a fantastic role model for all umpires and many credit her with the success they have had in umpiring. In particular the umpires in Gore.
Kristie Simpson, umpiring an ANZ Championships game, recently became the fifth International Umpire who started in Gore.
"I have been lucky that at Gore we have had a number of inspirational umpires.� Colleen has been a great help and more recently with Alison and Bobbi helping" says Kristie.
Alison Cormack and Bobbi Brown are also International Umpires.
They are joined at International status by Jonathan Bredin, also an ANZ Championships umpire, who now lives and umpires in Dunedin but started out in Gore.
All of the umpires mentioned Colleen as a major influence in their careers.
"The main influence would have been Colleen Bond, she was always there, coaching you on a Saturday and giving all the help you needed to try and achieve the highest level you could." Says Alison
Bobbi lists Alison and Colleen as her technical advisors these days and they are very capable of that given their positions on the International Testing Panel as Cadets where they are also joined by Bobbi.
Jonathan is a New Zealand Theory Examiner and marker and along with Kristie is involved on his region's Umpire Panel where they coach other umpires.
All the umpires agree with Alison's explanation of why Gore umpires are so successful "I am often asked the question as to why Gore produces so many top level umpires.� It has to be the huge support we give each other and the commitment we have to make.� Firstly it is expected that we all umpire in our local centre whenever we are around.� Kristie & Bobbi both umpire in Gore throughout ANZ when they are not on games.� Kristie especially this year has umpired on Saturdays when she has been on games on Monday nights.� Colleen & I have also always done this and are both still umpiring on Saturdays. Colleen & I are always there to give them some one off tips about things in their games."
She added "Fantastic, isn't it.� When I had my first overseas appointment, I went to Australia to umpire NZ U21 v Aust U21.� Chris Burton (Netball Australia Director of Umpiring) was the panel person (coach) there. At that time she couldn't believe I was the third person from Gore, let alone there now being 5!"
Popular competitions and giveaways from Gimme.co.nz: NZ's People Powered Guide to Free Stuff. Links will open on Gimme.
Join Voxy on Google+.