Over 10 years of commitment to the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League (WDFNL) has left umpire Kaye Hollis with a prestigious Netball Victoria Community Award for her remarkable contribution to umpiring.
As well as the Community Award, Hollis has been awarded life membership with the WDFNL, for her tireless work as an umpire, umpire mentor and sub-committee member.
After 20 years of umpiring herself, Hollis endured some serious injuries which meant she could no longer umpire. Deciding to pursue her passion, Hollis looked to train and upskill fellow umpires, becoming a mentor for many developing umpires within the WDFNL.
Hollis, as the league umpire mentor, encourages her umpires to thrive, guiding nine umpires from the competition to obtain new badges in 2018, through her ongoing support.
“Each week I go and watch the different umpires and ask if people would like feedback and support and it’s really great when you’ve got lots of people lined up wanting your advice”.
Over the past three years Hollis has put an extensive amount of work into the WDFNL to ensure that the leagues umpires – at both club and league level – are progressing and developing to a high standard.
“I try to make sure every club gets some time with me on a Saturday”.
“When you see someone get their badge who’s worked really hard or when you see someone get something that they’ve been struggling with, it’s really lovely to see them proud of what they do”.
Hollis stresses the importance of umpire development, not just for umpires themselves, but also for clubs wanting to produce higher standard games.
“We notice that the clubs that are most successful with the teams also have good umpires.”
“It makes the teams play more disciplined and held more accountable to the rules during training.” As to why she loves umpiring, Hollis says it’s the way you feel when you are out there on the court.
“You go into a zone, into a bubble and everything else goes away except the game in front of you. Like a separate world. You have no idea who won or lost you just come off mentally and physically exhausted, but it is such an adrenaline high”.
“It’s a tough job, a thankless job. But everyone needs an umpire. It can be such a fun and rewarding thing to do”.
To start your umpiring journey, visit the Netball Victoria umpiring page.