To say Sally Boud’s life has changed in the last six months would be a massive understatement.
Sally was promoted to the AFL goal umpiring list and started a new career teaching students in years 11 and 12. Then, just as the season began, Sally was asked to switch to teaching grades 1-6. It’s a whirlwind start to life as an AFL umpire.
Sally umpired her first AFL match between Fremantle and Greater Western Sydney at Domain Stadium on 7 May 2016.
Now that she has umpired at AFL level and experienced her first term of teaching, she feels the transition from university to work and from WAFL to AFL had been completed extremely well.
“The umpires l train with are all in professional jobs and manage their employment and umpiring commitments. I was very fortunate to have such a strong support group around me, especially in those first couple of months.”
Sally was ingrained as a leader in the WAFL umpiring group and has found her two careers work well together.
“I love teaching given it has such a positive impact on so many lives. It assists with umpiring as l am always wanting to learn more and grow personally.”
Boud started her career at the West Australian Amateur Football League and gained experience in all three umpiring disciplines before focusing on goal umpiring. In 2008, she started with the WAFL as a goal umpire and rose through the ranks to umpire the 2014 Foxtel Cup and WAFL Grand Finals.
In 2015 she continued her good form and was again appointed to the WAFL Grand Final.
Sally enjoys the dynamics of working with such a professional team on game day, “The vibe in the room is really professional. I enjoy the group debriefs at the end of each game. It is interesting to hear feedback on what went well and areas for improvement from the different disciplines, you always learn something from these sessions.”
To let off steam and relax, Sally takes to bush walking and bike riding in nearby bushland or going for a swim. She also relaxes with family and friends.
Sally’s advice for up and coming umpires is to continually challenge yourself and believe that anything is possible if you persist.
“In the early years I was recovering from an ongoing injury, l was always at the back of the running group. By pushing myself physically and mentally, l was able to improve incrementally and soon l was up the front of the group. It was a terrific feeling of accomplishment, but l wouldn’t have achieved it without pushing myself.”
Looking back over the last six months, Sally believes she has taken significant steps forward in her life which have her prepared for the big step into umpiring AFL football.