A young up-and-coming Netball NSW umpire was recognised recently at the 2014 Community Sports Volunteer Awards, presented by the NSW Sports Federation.
Congratulations to 17-year-old Thomas Turner who was presented with the Young Official of the Year award for his hard work and dedication to perfecting his craft.
Upon receiving his award, Turner admitted it was a nice surprise.
“I really wasn’t even expecting to be nominated, let alone to win the award, so it was a really nice surprise and I’d like to thank the [NSW] Sports Federation for the prize,” Turner said.
The budding umpire from Parramatta Auburn Netball Association has risen quickly through the ranks, achieving his National C and B Badges within 12 months of each other. After being awarded his B Badge in June last year, Turner has his sights on achieving his National A Badge next.
“I’m really passionate about what I do, and not scared to challenge myself. I guess that’s why I’ve been able to get my badges pretty quickly… but it’s also down to the support I receive from Netball NSW and Parramatta Auburn.
“I attended both the Rookies and B Badge camps, and there was given the opportunity to receive real-time mentoring from umpires I look up to, like Sharon Kelly. That sort of opportunity is really valuable for a young umpire,” Turner said.
Not satisfied with just umpiring, Turner this year also signed up to play in a men’s netball competition – something the young netball enthusiast says has only increased his love of the sport.
“Playing netball has really helped my knowledge of the game, but also taught me about the importance of the player/umpire relationship and having good communication. It also helped me respect how hard players work on the court!” Turner said.
The NSW netball community can see Turner in action on Saturdays at the Anne Clark Centre, umpiring DOOLEYS State League games. He will also be out at both the State Age and State Championships, which he admits he “always looks forward to.”
Netball NSW Umpire & Officials Development Coordinator Jan Simpson said it was terrific umpires like Turner were being recognised for their hard work.
“Thomas is a great kid and comes from a pedigree umpiring background, but it’s his attitude and enthusiasm for the sport that really impresses me,” Simpson said.
“He just loves what he does and really supports the umpiring programs at both Parramatta [Auburn] and Netball NSW – always the first to put up his hand, always the first to give back. We couldn’t be prouder of his recognition.”
Join us in congratulating 2014 Young Official of the Year Thomas Turner!
Photo: Milestone Photography