Field umpire Nathan Williamson has been named the ambassador for the Ballarat Football Umpires Association (BFUA) for season 2023.
His role includes supporting the BFUA’s umpire training and coaching, and other events and initiatives as part of his commitments as an ambassador throughout the year.
The whistleblower has umpired 133 AFL matches and was named the ‘Most Promising First or Second Year Umpire’ in 2017 and 2018.
Having stepped into this new role, Nathan said, “I put my hand up for the regional club (BFUA), because I came from the country in Western Australia.
“It’s a great way for those umpires to come in and help grow their experience and craft – tap into our knowledge and try and get better themselves.
“I put myself in their shoes. When I was their age or their experience, I loved it when we got access to an AFL umpire and they came down and shared their experience and knowledge, and you got to ask questions.
“For someone that’s aspiring to do it, it’s a good feeling to meet an [AFL] umpire and then you follow their journey as well once you’ve had that positive interaction.”
On his initial interactions with the BFUA umpiring community, Nathan said, “It was fantastic. I was really wrapped at not only how many numbers they’ve got down there, but also the investment for the coaches and the volunteers that help out year after year with the Association.
“They want to make people better, to provide them with the knowledge they possess and pass that on…it really left an impression on me.”
Nathan is also looking forward to utilising this opportunity to further his umpiring network. He added, “It’s good for me to reach out to people, show leadership and lead by example in how I approach what I do at the highest level, and also how I engage and communicate with people in a respectful manner.
“It’s always great to help build and improve relationships. I love meeting people and I love hearing about their journeys. This is another example of where I get to do that.”
Featured image – Nathan Williamson in action during the 2022 Round 19 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Adelaide Crows at Sydney Cricket Ground. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/AFL Photos)