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Jessica McGarvey well on her way to achieving Elite Umpiring Status, National B accredited

Today Jessica achieved her certificate for National B Umpiring.

In NSW, there are clear-cut pathways to becoming an elite athlete.

Athletic scholarships, sporting academies and state league competitions mean it is easier than ever for kids to envision a future playing their favourite sport on the national stage.

But becoming an elite umpire? That's a different story.

Not many kids would start playing their sport and see themselves running along a court with a whistle in hand.

Too often, umpiring can be perceived as a thankless job capped off by getting up early on a Saturday morning to stand in the cold and have people hate you - but 16-year-old Jessica McGarvey from Northern Valleys Netball Club doesn't see it that way.

In her senior years of high school, Jessica has achieved far more with her netball community than she ever thought possible - not in the Club colours of the NVNC Blue - but in whites, umpiring.

Jessica commenced her umpiring journey at her local Wednesday night indoor comp.

"Mum and I were both playing indoor, when Mum was playing I had time to fill in, so I thought I may as well give it [umpiring] a go," she said.

She then completed the theory umpire test in 2017 while playing for Wyoming Narara, under the mentorship of Elizabeth Stevens.

The following year 2018 she started playing for Ourimbah and had the mentorship of Larissa Guest and Abby Holloway. This is the year she really started taking her umpiring seriously and achieved her white award.

In 2019 Jessica continued under the mentorship of Abby Holloway and in July achieved her Gosford award.

2020 saw Jessica moving from Ourimbah to join Northern Valley’s Netball Club (NVNC).

There has been a lot of fine balancing skills displayed by Jessica between playing high division senior games, umpiring and mentoring, Jessica continued to pursue and strive to achieve her goal of National C badge. This is when Jessica commenced with the Central Coast academy of sport and started umpiring at academy games.

Jessica achieved her National C in August 2020. She was assessed by Sandra Kohlmyer and Maree Reeves who have both been a huge part in her umpiring life. Abby Holloway was her partner umpire for this game and Karlee Farthing who ran the program was present.

2021 saw Jessica umpiring at hunter games, regional games, academy games as well as her first hart senior state. Unfortunately junior state was cancelled this year due to COVID.

2022 Jessica was chosen into the Gosford Representative Umpire Program. She has also been an integral part of the mentoring team for NVNC.

She has represented at many carnivals this year as well as the Hart Senior and Junior state where she was recognised by NSW officials.

Jessica has been so fortunate to be supported and mentored by not only Abby but also Sandra who are the Gosford Netball Association (GNA) Umpire Co-ordinators. Without their support and encouragement she never thought a National B would be achievable.

“The last 6 months have seen Jessica grow immensely, not only as a young lady, but also as a well-respected member of Team White. We are proud that she is part of the #NVNCfamily”, said Vicki Stedman, President of NVNC.

“Jessica has had some challenging situations, parents commenting about her calls, or players eye ball rolling or chatting back during a game, but because of the training Jessica has received through her mentors and game experience, she handled these situations like a true professional. These experiences aren’t unique to Jessica, the confidence that Jessica has now due to her umpire training, coaching and execution has been priceless. This journey has really developed her leadership skills” say’s Fiona, NVNC Umpire Convenor.

Jessica is already preparing to take that next step with Umpiring in the hope to follow in steps of a well-known name around GNA and NVNC, Jordan Kiss.

"I would love to umpire at a professional level one day, like Suncorp Super Netball". she said. "But right now I will continue to focus on the small goals. Like my scanning."

Thank you to everyone who has supported Jessica on her umpiring journey so far.

We, the NVNC Committee are looking forward to seeing where your umpiring and player journey takes you next Jessica.

We are proud of you and your accreditation you received today.

The culmination of this accreditation system leads to practical assessment in a 4-tiered system of badges: C, B, A and the highest national award the AA (All Australia).

If you would like to get more involved in umpiring, please contact Fiona McGarvey, or your Umpire Convenor responsible for your club.


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