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Whistling up a storm at Waicol

Obviously enjoying themselves at the Wairarapa College Netball Academy. Back row, from left: Danielle Rose, Charlize Carson-Butler, Millie Day, Charlotte Hamill-Harris, Sarah McGruddy, Georgie Geard. Front row: Rebecca Rose, Isabella Sinnema, Caitlin Elliott. PHOTO/SUZANNE OLIVER

Wairarapa College netballers are picking up whistles and taking control of the game.

The students are part of the Wairarapa College Umpiring Academy which was formed to help new umpires gain the confidence and skills to make a positive impact in sport.

Teacher-in-charge Kath Houliston says large numbers of players wanted to take up umpiring but were not confident in their knowledge of the rules or put off by the thought of dealing with issues such as difficult players and spectators.

Not only would the academy become a major assist in that respect but it would also help overcome the hassles coaches and managers had in finding umpires to officiate in their matches.

Established this year, the academy includes sessions run by experienced umpire Sheryn Elliott and all the umpires will complete their centre theory umpire paper.

This also leads into the students gaining six NCEA Level 3 credits for ‘applying sport rules and regulations while officiating in a competitive sports event.’

Houliston said the more experienced umpires involved in the academy will “buddy” those new to the role.

The rookies will build their knowledge by “shadowing” the more experienced umpires during games.

“We are lucky in that we have a number of experienced student umpires who have also joined the academy to assist,” Houliston said.

“Thirteen students are involved but we anticipate greater participation when others see the academy umpires out there enjoying their umpiring.”

Experienced umpire, Caitlin Elliott (Year 12), said she enjoyed her mentoring role and found it helped her own umpiring by looking closely at what others were doing.

Fellow Year 12, Charlotte Hamill-Harris, said umpiring had really helped her own netball game.

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