Steven Townsend recently passed his C Award Umpiring course. He took some out from running the line to tell how he has found the process and what tips he has for aspiring umpires.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a hard working husband and father to a daughter aged 15 years old. I enjoy sports, gaming and of course netball. I have always lived in the North East and currently run my own IT Consultancy Company.
My daughter started netball at an early age. I used to take her to training and watch all her matches. My partner also plays netball within local teams and I started to get a keen interest and passion for the sport.
I started to play netball a few years ago in the North East Mixed Netball League with my own netball team Fusion. In September 2017 I decided to train towards the C Award Umpiring course with the help of Durham Ladies netball club, Sharon Scott and Jackie Padley.
Netball had opened up a sport where all the family could play and enjoy.
I’m going to start working towards studying for the B Award course by continuing to learn and practice my umpiring through matches, social media, mentors advice and the use of England Netball’s website while gaining the two years of experience that I need to progress.
How have you found the process of becoming qualified?
The process was well structured within the C Award course and very informative.
The two mentors I was paired with became invaluable over the course of the year with good guidance, support and a wealth of information.
I was also lucky to have the time to practice at training at my partner’s netball club, Durham Ladies, every week along with taking part in umpiring within multiple leagues and tournaments over the year.
All of this, along with the support, helped me become a qualified umpire and I am truly grateful.
For me it would have been really useful if the course had been structured over two days, as time to reflect and work on personal improvements would have been a positive aspect.
What advice would give to anyone interested in becoming an umpire?
I would suggest listen to your mentor and don’t be afraid ask questions, ask for advice if unsure.
Sometimes the game can progress pretty fast, so you need to be able to keep up, for example remember to run the lines and get around the goal post as you need to be see the play clearly.
If you make a mistake (which can happen) don’t dwell on it as it will affect your next decision! And above all enjoy it!