This week, the Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL) and the wider AFL community will celebrate Community Umpiring Week with the aim to encourage people to get involved in umpiring at the community level.
The theme for 2023 Community Umpiring Week is “Celebration of Umpiring” with the goal to raise awareness of umpiring as an opportunity to be a part of the game and celebrates the important role of umpires within our game.
As part of Community Umpiring Week, AFL Umpires Andrew Heffernan, Justin Power and Cameron Jones attended YJFL umpire training on Monday at Koonung Reserve.
Heffernan, Power and Jones guided YJFL umpires through a number of umpiring drills and shared their knowledge and advice on umpiring.
Power said it was great to give back to community umpiring and support the next generation of umpires.
“It was great to see a lot of boys and girls of all ages down here and the enthusiasm was great.”
“We’ve got some first year umpires and umpires that have been here for four or five years, so tonight was about developing basic skills that are required to succeed at all levels.”
“For us as AFL Umpires, to get back to the junior leagues and see the enthusiasm and numbers coming through umpiring, it’s really promising.”
Heffernan began his journey as a YJFL boundary umpire and encouraged people of all ages to get involved with umpiring.
“Umpiring is a great way to earn money. but there’s also a real team focus in umpiring and you build great relationships and make friends for life.”
“If you’re looking for a team sport, I encouraged you to get involved.”
The YJFL had over 300 registered umpires in 2022 and is focused on recruitment and retention of umpires.
“The YJFL is extremely grateful to all the umpires officiating in our league and Community Umpiring Week is a great way to acknowledge and show support for our umpires,” said YJFL Head of Umpiring, Ray Kelsey.
“Our goal is to continue to foster safe and inclusive environments for our umpires and increase the number of umpires within our league and we encourage people of ages to get involved.”
The YJFL will continue to celebrate Community Umpiring Week across our channels and encourages all clubs to show support for our umpires.
As part of Round Four action, all club coaches and captains are encouraged to come together with umpires at the toss of the coin to shake hands and take a photo. The league encourages clubs to share these photos on social media to show our support for Community Umpiring Week.
For more information or to register your interest in umpiring community football, visit https://www.yarrajfl.org.au/umpires