Following an introduction from Wayne Campbell and Hayden Kennedy, who spoke about the successes of 2015 and areas to focus on improving in 2016, the camp for boundary and goal umpires was launched.

Boundary and goal umpires from across Australia were present for the one day camp out at Essendon Football Club’s new facility in Tullamarine. Immediately following the introduction, both squads underwent fitness tests.  As the temperature increased, so did the intensity of the training. Boundary umpires completed a one kilometre run, 8×150 meters with skills incorporated, 30×100 metres followed by more skills sessions. Goal umpires undertook a fitness T-test, then an intense fitness session including sprint, agility and resistance training. They then broke into groups to participate in skills and a fitness game/activity.

Following the fitness sessions, Kraig Grimes from Leading Teams convened a Leadership session involving both groups to look at how each group can continue to improve their communication with peers in order to improve individual and group performance.

Gerald Ryan and Luke Brennan from the AFL Integrity Department addressed the group on the privileges of being an AFL umpire and the responsibility that came with that in regards to social media, corruption in sport and gambling.

Umpires were then provided with information on ‘activation’ exercises which are designed to produce better results whilst reducing the risk of injury by the Strength and Conditioning Coach Steve Falcone. He also took the group through mediation / mindfulness techniques to activate the brain and to increase overall wellbeing.

Goal Umpires’ Coach Steven Stirling and Boundary Umpires’ Coach Simon Leigh then outlined their expectations for the season ahead.

A dinner for both squads was held on Saturday night at the Shaw Davey Slum in Carlton. The AFLUA presented best first/second year awards to boundary umpire – Dan Field-Read and goal umpire – Brodie Kenny-Bell. The AFL presented milestone awards to Brett Dalgleish, Nathan Doig, Dale Edwick and Tristan Symes. In addition, Grand Final awards were presented to Nathan Doig and Chris Gordon.

Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly

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