Netball: Two young players awarded umpire badges

TWOlocal netballers are now official umpires of the sport after an unexpected surprise at their usual mid-week competition.
Nanjing Night Net

Macksville’s Brooke Chapman, left, and Bowraville’s Coralie MacDonald

Macksville’s Brooke Chapman (16) and Coralie MacDonald (15), from Bowraville recently went to umpire at what they thought was a regular competition night in Coffs Harbour … however they got a little more than they bargained for.

“When we got there, that’s when we found out we could possibly be badged and they had graders watching us,” Brooke said.

“That was pretty nerve-wracking knowing we were being watched and closely judged on our performance.”

Assisted by their coaches Michael O’Keefe, Vicki Coombes and help by Glenese Welsh, the girls were able to get their badges in just three short years.

“Getting a national C badge for umpiring is a difficult process,” Michael said. “It takes months, sometimes years to perfect.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to watch them develop and now to see them shine.”

From here both girls will travel to local rep carnivals for some experience before travelling to the State Age Championships in July. There they will umpire more than 15 games each over the three day competition.

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