Kate Howard was honoured with the 2014 Neita Matthews OAM Umpires Encouragement Award at the Netball NSW State Dinner over the weekend at Allphones Arena.
The award recognises an umpire who demonstrates a desire to strive for excellence on court, shows consistency in performance throughout the DOOLEYS State League competition and continues to improve their knowledge of the game.
Hailing from Bankstown City Netball Association, Kate achieved her National A Badge in 2012 and has since regularly umpired DOOLEYS State League matches at the Anne Clark Centre.
NetballNSWTV caught up with the 26-year-old upon receiving the accolade, who credited her junior Umpires Convenor – as well as her Mum! – for helping her get to this point in her career.
“There’s many people who have helped me throughout the years, particularly my mum… Carol Baiton, she’s always been a great support right from my junior days [and] Simone McDonald who has been my Club Convenor for the last 11 years – they’ve been a huge help,” Kate told NetballNSWTV.
Introduced in 2005, the award is named in honour of Netball NSW Life Member and Hall of Fame umpiring legend Neita Matthews OAM, who is one of the living pioneers of our sport. Previous winners include recent International Umpire Award (IUA) recipient Tara Warner, and Netball Australia Development Umpiring Program member Rebecca McKinnon.
Watch the full NetballNSWTV interview with Kate Howard below to find out why she loves umpiring;
Neita Matthews OAM Umpires Encouragement Award Recipients
2014 Kate Howard – Bankstown City
2013 Eugene Afa – Penrith & Leisa Kenny – Forbes
2012 Steven Jackson – City of Sydney
2011 Clare Breust – Queanbeyan
2010 Rebecca McKinnion – Ku-ring-gai
2009 Tara Warner – Fairfield City
2008 Sarah Sandstrom – St George
2007 Helen Dolbel – Penrith District
2006 Rachel Hughes – Bathurst
2005 Alan Melville – Liverpool City