GOOD FEELING: Ipswich netball umpire Rachel Meadows is moving up the competition ranks.
GOOD FEELING: Ipswich netball umpire Rachel Meadows is moving up the competition ranks. Claudia Baxter

Rising umpire tackles task with right focus

The 2012 Queensland Times-City of Ipswich Sports Awards will recognise the best regional talent at a gala function on Saturday night. In the latest series on the award contenders, Jay Buchan previews the finalists for the Official of the Year honour.

BEING a netball umpire is not always easy but the rewards are immense.

They are what prompted Collingwood Park 21-year-old Rachel Meadows to stop playing and focus on becoming the best umpire she could.

"I played up until a year-and-a-half ago," the accounting student said.

"That was when I decided to focus on umpiring.

"I wanted to be really good and develop my umpiring.

"I like the personal challenge of being able to help teams have good games of netty."

The highlights of Meadows' umpiring career so far include umpiring Division One in Ipswich and a state league grand final last year.

Her next goal is to get her national A umpiring qualification "and move up the tiers," of the state leagues, she said.

"The best moment I've ever had in my umpiring career was last year in September," she said.

"When I was awarded my National B badge.

"I can still remember the match vividly and the pure excitement I felt when I was told I passed."

Meadows has learnt to deal with the low moments as well.

"Occasional comments on the sideline," she said of the negatives of being an umpire.

"You hear people say 'You don't know the rules.'

"You kind of learn how to deal with that.

"You always want to have your best game on court but you can't always do that.

"Fortunately you have people who really genuinely appreciate what you do and thank you for that.

"The best thing about it is when a player comes up and says 'good job.'

"It's a really good feeling."



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