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New school to fast-track women to the top of footy

Peter Rolfe, May 13, 2018 7:00PM Herald Sun

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AFL umpire Eleni Glouftsis Picture: Wayne Ludbey media_cameraAFL umpire Eleni Glouftsis Picture: Wayne Ludbey

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A new umpiring school has been set up to quickly increase the number of women umpiring AFL and AFLW.

Even though women’s football is growing very fast and there was a 15 per cent increase in the number of female umpires last year, only 9 per cent of all match officials* in Victoria are women or girls.

That could soon change thanks to the new National Female Umpiring Academy*.

Six women have been selected to enter the first program and hope to one day be AFL field umpires like the game’s first female field umpire, Eleni Glouftsis.

AFL Women’s boss Nicole Livingstone said there was every reason girls picked for the new program could one day umpire an AFL Grand Final.

“This program will allow female umpires to be the best they can be,” Ms Livingstone said.

“They will be picked on their merits* and there is no reason a girl who goes through this academy couldn’t end up umpiring an AFL or AFLW grand final one day.’’

Victorians Bronte Annand, Genevieve Devenish, Courtney Gibson and Annie Mirabile are four of the six women chosen for the National Female Umpiring Academy. Picture: Michael Klein media_cameraVictorians Bronte Annand, Genevieve Devenish, Courtney Gibson and Annie Mirabile are four of the six women chosen for the National Female Umpiring Academy. Picture: Michael Klein

At the moment there are 15,300 Australian football umpires but just 1433 are female.

Ms Livingstone said the success of AFLW and the huge growth of female community footy had created a need for more umpires.

“We’ve seen in the last two years the difference the AFLW is having on women of all ages,” she said.

“You can’t be what you can’t see, and having AFLW in place has provided a role-model* situation for girls in footy.”

She said a 76 per cent growth of women’s teams throughout the country last year created more opportunities for coaches, administrators*, players and umpires.

“Not everybody will get to play AFLW; they might not be an elite* player,” she said.

“But they might think they can be an elite umpire.”

Giants AFLW players Alicia Eva and Jessica Dal Pos with head of women's football Nicole Livingstone. Picture: AAP media_cameraGiants AFLW players Alicia Eva and Jessica Dal Pos with head of women’s football Nicole Livingstone. Picture: AAP

AFL head of umpiring Grant Williams said the academy would develop female umpires capable* of working at a national* level through extra coaching and teaching.

“We hope to develop umpires for both the AFL and the AFLW,” he said.

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GLOSSARY

officials: people running the game, including umpires

academy: school

merits: strengths or talents

role model: a good example to follow

administrators: non-playing officials, people who run the game such as team managers, coaches

elite: top level

capable: able

national: all across the country

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

1. TRUE or FALSE

Use information from the article to decide if these statements are TRUE or FALSE. Underline or quote the section of the article that you based your answer on.

The new umpiring school is only for females.

There are currently a similar numbers of male and female umpires.

There are more female umpires now than there were in 2016.

Girls will definitely be umpiring AFL/AFLW grand finals in the future.

Female umpires will be selected instead of males, just because they are female.

Finish these statements using information from the text.

We need more umpires …

This academy will …

Extension: Do you think it is important to encourage female umpires at the national level of AFL/AFLW? Give reasons for your answer.

Time: Allow 20 minutes

Curriculum links: English, Health and Physical Education, Ethical Capabilities

2. Umpiring or playing

“Not everybody will get to play AFLW; they might not be an elite player, but they might think they can be an elite umpire.”

Being an AFL/AFLW umpire would require some different skills and knowledge to being an AFL/AFLW player.

Draw a Venn diagram (two overlapping circles). In one circle, write all the knowledge, skills and personality traits that are required by AFL/AFLW players. In the second, write all the knowledge, skills and personality traits required by umpires. In the overlapping section, write the ones that are similar to both umpires and players.

Extension: Would you prefer to be a player or umpire? Draw up a chart that shows the POSITIVES and NEGATIVES of being an umpire and of being a player. For example: a player may get paid more money but would have to train longer.

After completing the positives and negatives for each, decide which you would prefer to be and write a statement explaining why you have made this decision.

Time: Allow 30 minutes

Curriculum links: English, Health and Physical Education, Critical and Creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY

With a partner see if you can you identify all the doing words/verbs in this text. Highlight them in yellow and then make a list of them all down your page. Now see if you and your partner can come up with a synonym for the chosen verb- make sure it still makes the context it was taken from.

Try to replace some of the original verbs with your synonyms and discuss if any are better and why.

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write and VCOP

IN ONE SENTENCE, TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THIS STORY

Please do not use one-word answers. Explain what you enjoyed or found interesting about the article. Use lots of adjectives.

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