Chris Kamolins celebrates his 200th AFL game when he heads down to Simmonds Stadium for the Geelong v Adelaide game on Friday night.
Chris started his umpiring career back in 2005 and includes in his highlights the ANZAC Day clash, officiating in the 2016 finals and being part of the ANZAC Day game in Wellington. One of his favourite umpiring experiences was the London Exhibition match in 2012.
For a number of years, Chris balanced an umpiring career with a senior management job with a large medical equipment company in addition to raising a young family. At the end of 2015, Chris realised that if he was to take the next step, he needed to get his body right as soft tissue injuries were getting the better of him. To give himself the necessary time for pre-game preparation and rehabilitation post-game, Chris decided to go part-time and now works two and a half days a week. He believes this decision has enabled him to be at his best on the ground week in-week out which has in turn has translated into more consistent performances.
In 2016, Chris was appointed to the finals panel for the first time. Prior to that, mitigating circumstances such as tearing his calf late in the season and suffering a concussion in round 23 one year, just when things were coming together, restricted his availability for consideration for finals. For some time, Chris was seriously starting to think he’d walked under a ladder!
Chris believes it is important to keep a balance in life as football can become all too consuming. He is of the view that you need to be at your best when preparing and umpiring on match day, but you need other things in your life to counter balance the pressure and expectations being placed on you. “I’m married with 3 young kids, l work part-time as a Business Manager and l love catching up with family, friends and chilling out watching other sports.”
A number of people have helped shape Chris’s umpiring career including Peter Marshall, Neil Connybear and Brian Morrison at the Diamond Valley Football League and Peter Howe and Kevin Mitchell whilst he was at the VFL. He also acknowledged Hayden Kennedy, fitness coach Peter Mulkearns and the medical team – Perry Adams, Sani Badic, Mark Fraser and Andy Stephens – for their influence and support.
Chris has also served on the AFLUA executive before taking on the President’s role in 2015. Chris was particularly impressed with the number of good people behind the scenes who are there assisting umpiring, “The AFLUD and AFLUA do a great job in attending to so many things so that umpires can focus on their match day performance.”
Chris believes the foundations of the AFLUA are strong and his achievements include reviewing the structure of the AFLUA office, developing a strategic plan for future CBA negotiations, an improved focus on corporate partners and ensuring that the association focuses on things that are important to members. Despite wanting to continue for another year as President, Chris decided that his focus should be on his on-field performance.
For his 200th game, it is business as usual for Chris. He has spent a lot of time on body maintenance earlier in the week with massage and physio. He put in a solid performance at training on Tuesday night before tapering back as game time approaches. He will continue with his pre-game ritual of baked beans on toast for breakfast on Friday morning.
The game at Simmonds Stadium promises to be a fantastic game. We wish Kamo all the best for his 200th milestone game.
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly