During last week there were two special guests in white officiating DOOLEYS State League matches at the Anne Clark Centre.
Singaporean umpires Yu Be Ling and Joan Catherine Yuliani took an opportunity to work with NSW umpiring legend Maureen Boyle in preparations for the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships, being contested in Glasgow at the end of August.
Both Yu and Yuliani have been working with Netball Australia over the past few years in developing their umpiring skills, working alongside renowned figures such as Boyle, Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard and Helen George, and used Netball NSW’s top competition as further experience.
In a stark contrast to their home environment, Yu and Yuliani braved the wintery conditions at Lidcombe to officiate games from Waratah Cup through to Division Four, all the while receiving mentoring.
Yu said the opportunity to come to Sydney was a wonderful experience, all the while preparing for the World Youth Cup later this year.
“It’s fantastic for both Yuliani and I to come over [to Australia]. Singapore doesn’t have the same quality of matches played [as we see here in Australia] and we need to be preparing for World Youth [Cup],” Yu said.
“It’s very good [for us to experience] because the level of game, the speed and quality of the players, is very good … the week has been a really good progression.”
“I am very grateful for Netball Singapore to help fund the trip, and also to Netball Australia, Maureen and Chris [Burton] for providing us with this opportunity,” Yu concluded.
Maureen Boyle echoed Yu’s gratitude to both national organisations for being forthright in providing opportunities to umpires.
“It’s a great collaboration, especially Netball Singapore willing to send these two wonderful umpires over – as well as their umpire coach – to gain valuable experience ahead of Glasgow. Be and Joan are receiving terrific exposure to different styles of play which will stand them in good stead [come August],” Boyle said.
“I have been very impressed; both have umpired really well, especially as they stepped up every night, and they’ve done everything that has been asked of them.”
The 2013 World Youth Netball Championships begin in just nine weeks’ time, with the host team Scotland opening the tournament against the Cayman Islands on Saturday 22 August (local time).
Australia opens their campaign against Israel the following day, but it won’t just be the team who is flying the Aussie flag, with four Australian umpires also being selected alongside Yu and Yuliani to officiate during the tournament.
NSW umpires Jemma Carlton and Helen George will make the trip alongside Josh Bowring and Marc Henning to the tournament, with the winner to be crowned on Saturday 31 August when the Grand Final is schedule to be played.
Read more on the Aussie umpiring contingent heading to Glasgow.