World Netball has announced the appointment of international umpire Gary Burgess as an official ambassador.
Burgess is one of the sport’s most recognisable and well-respected umpires and has over 100 international umpiring caps to his name, becoming the first umpire in the UK to achieve the milestone during the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 in Liverpool.
After first picking up a whistle at university to enhance his future employability as a school PE teacher, Burgess has since taken charge of two Commonwealth Games gold medal matches, three Netball World Cup finals and 12 Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Finals in a career that has spanned over 20 years.
Commenting on the announcement, World Netball President Liz Nicholl CBE said: “The integrity of any sport is built on providing a fair and level playing field for athletes to compete on, and this is a value that Gary has embodied throughout his illustrious officiating career.
“His commitment and dedication to umpiring at the highest level while also inspiring and supporting others in the field, make him not only the ideal choice to represent World Netball’s Integrity value, but also an incredible role model for officials at all levels across the globe.”
Commenting on his appointment, Burgess said: “I am truly honoured to be the World Netball Integrity Ambassador.
“Through my involvement in World Netball as an international umpire, myself and my fellow umpires are required to uphold the spirit of fair play and provide the athletes with an equal platform to showcase their skill and athleticism.
“This can only be achieved with integrity through a consistent and unbiased approach to the work we do, where we use the rules to enhance play and excite spectators, which contributes to the world-class spectacle our sport has become.”
World Netball will be revealing a team of ambassadors representing the organisation’s newly launched Values of Excellence, Teamwork, Heart, Integrity, Courage, Athlete and Leadership. Together, the Values reflect World Netball’s commitment to operating within an ETHICAL framework. To view the ambassadors announced so far, click here.
Burgess was one of the first famous faces to appear in World Netball’s ‘Your Netball World’ virtual mosaic, which showcases netball faces and stories from all over the globe to celebrate the international netball family. The mosaic can be viewed here.