Officiating Scholarship continues to support national talent
Tasmanian Nick Foot, an AFL Official who was awarded a 2010 Scholarship, has been selected for the AFL Umpires panel for the 2012 season and recently officiated a match (his third this year) between Carlton and Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium in front of a 30,000 strong crowd. His career progression to the senior AFL squad ranks was recently featured by ABC TV.
In 2011, football official Jarred Gillett earned a second year scholarship (2010 and 2011) and a few weeks ago achieved a significant career goal by officiating the A-League Grand Final. He was also recently recognised as the 2012 A-League Official of the Year. Gillett, who fits his training and refereeing commitments in with study for a PhD in biomechanics at Griffith University, continues to focus on the future. ‘My next goal is to be ready for a FIFA nomination,’ he said.
Rugby Official Andrew Lees is another to receive a second scholarship (2010 and 2011). Ranked as the number one Rugby 7’s official for the past 15 months, he has been selected for the Super Rugby Officiating Panel for the 2012 Season. Andrew recently made his on-field debut officiating the Super 15’s Rugby fixture of Rebels vs Bulls, a closely contested match at AAMI Park.
Swimming Official Ryan Arblaster has enjoyed an incredibly successful career, which was recently crowned with his selection to officiate the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games. No surprise, considering that his young career has already taken him to Canada for the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships, Melbourne for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Singapore for the 2010 Youth Olympics, Samoa for the 2010 Oceania Swimming Championships and Tokyo for the 2011 FINA World Cup. A former state level swimmer from Western Australia, he was a joint winner of the Roger Smith award in 2010 for the Australian Technical Official of the Year. He considers the scholarship program a crucial part of his career development to date. ‘This scholarship has enabled me to improve my knowledge of multiclass swimming, which is an area of officiating I find rewarding,’ he said.
This year the scholarships have been extended to enhance the development of both officials and their mentors, by introducing a psychology and profiling component designed specifically for mentors.
The NOS program, designed to further the career of sporting officials at the national and international level, is awarded to NSOs that currently run training programs for National Officiating Accreditation Scheme. Since the scholarship program was first introduced in 2004, over 140 sports officials from benefitted.