Earlier this month England Netball Umpires Kate Mann and Stuart McErlain- Naylor were lucky enough to be selected to umpire at the Canadian National Championship’s.
This competition is an annual event that sees teams from all over Canada competing to be the Inter-Provincial champion. We caught up with Kate and Stuart to ask how they prepared ahead of tournament like this, what experience they gained and any advice they might have for aspiring young umpires.
Kate said of her preparation: “I have been incredibly fortunate to be supported by amazing mentors from my Region who give me so much of their time. Combined with the opportunities over recent months of umpiring at U17s European Championships, National Schools and the NPL U21 competition.”
Kate continued – “It was a great opportunity to umpire with other umpires from different parts of the world, although dealing with the jet lag was something of a challenge; preparation and rest is key. Umpiring alongside umpires from Jamaica and Canada was a real privilege.”
Her best piece of advice to young umpire’s was “Umpire as much as possible practicing pre-match protocols, widening your vision to game management. Find a Mentor (a couple if you can) – they are invaluable!”
Stuart said “I was delighted to be appointed to these Championships and couldn’t wait to get out there and umpire! I grab every opportunity to experience netball in new environments and I strive to improve and progress in the world of Netball.”
On the experience Stuart gained he added: “It was a lot of experience packed in to a small time frame. Umpiring five matches over two days was demanding but it was a great chance to put my feedback into action straight away with support from experienced International Umpires. It was an amazing weekend in Canada and one that I definitely won’t forget!”
Stuart’s advice to up and coming umpires is: “The most important thing is to love what you do. Be brave, trust your instincts and remember that every mistake is a great opportunity to learn and improve.”
Gary Burgess, England Netball Officiating Manager said of the appointment “I am so pleased that Kate and Stuart were able to accept this appointment.
“It’s another step up the ladder on their way to High Performance Umpiring. I was lucky enough to catch up with Chris Campbell the Umpire Assessor for the Championships in Kingston, Jamaica and he told me he was very impressed with what he saw from both Kate and Stuart.”
The tournament took place during 19th-22nd May 2017.