Whistle blowers sought for Academy Netball Program

Written on the 25 October 2021 by The District Reporter

Whistle blowers sought for Academy Netball Program


The South West Sydney Academy of Sport is again on the lookout for its next group of super Netball talent, and not just athletes on the court, but those who grace its sidelines to ensure the game is contested fairly. 16-Year-old Narellan Vale resident, Hannah Green, is the perfect example of the athlete the Academy is looking for, as a key member of its netball umpire’s program. 

In what is a unique aspect of the Academy’s Netball program structure, is the fact that umpires are considered a part of the overall Netball squad, and attend all training sessions and camps alongside the athletes. And often the athletes who they will end up umpiring at both association and future state levels. The combined approach to training and on court development sessions, which is unique to the Regional Academy programs, operated in partnership with Netball NSW, provides an opportunity that Hannah feels can go a long way in preparing not only athletes, but umpires for the higher levels of competition. 

 “Training alongside the Academy’s highly talented athletes has definitely helped my journey. The skill and talent of the athletes provides the inspiration to work hard and achieve the next level as an umpire. Academy training sessions are so informative and challenging in a great way.” Said Green. 

As with the netball athlete’s program, the umpires receive on-the-run coaching, as well as education in  nutrition, strength and conditioning, goal setting, along with holistic health and wellbeing. Each umpire in the program receives a large amount of mentoring in not only rule interpretations, but in match review opportunities and overall game management strategies under the direction of highly respected Umpire coaches Michelle and Sarah McNamara. 

Incoming Academy Walker Corporation Netball Program co-Head Coaches Van Nguyen, Lisa Filby and assistant coaches Samantha Garrido and Tina Savae also play a huge part in the direction of the umpires. Whilst responsible for the development of the athletes within the pathway, they also are there to help push the umpires along, by ensuring that the athletes they are umpiring are competing at the highest possible level. 

“The coaches always push us to strive for success and do our best. Being able to combine the theory side of umpiring and put that into a practical training environment alongside athletes in a high-performance pathway really makes the Academy program worthwhile.” Said Green. 

A highlight of the program is the Academy’s participation in the annual Clubs NSW Regional Academy Games, where the umpires who have trained with the Academy squad, get to experience high-quality action up close.

“The ClubsNSW Regional Academy Games and high-performance camps with the Academy athletes and other regional academy umpires and coaches is definitely a highlight. Not only do you meet fellow umpires from around NSW, but you get feedback from all of the regional Academy coaches, and they often add a different perspective that helps you improve in different aspects.” Said Green, who encourages any umpire considering the program to definitely give it a go. “The Academy umpiring program is an excellent pathway if you want to improve your skills for umpiring at association level, or if like me, you wish to pursue a career as a Suncorp Super Netball umpire.” added Green. 

Nominations for the Academy’s Walker Corporation Netball and Netball umpire’s program are currently open, with Netball athletes turning 15 or 16 in 2022 encouraged to apply. 

Prospective umpires aged 14 to 18 years of age are also encouraged to nominate for the Umpires program. Further details can be found on the Academy website, www.swsas.org.au or by contacting the Academy Office on 02 4627 7622.


Image: Hannah Green in action at the ClubsNSW Regional Academy Games - Credit: CLUSTERPIX

Author:The District Reporter

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