SANFL Umpiring Update – June

Modbury Hawks (white guernseys) and Henley Sharks (blue guernseys) players gather with the all-female umpiring panel, including Eleni Tee, after a National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors match.

Female umpiring has been showcased across South Australia, with additional opportunities providing a great platform to promote the recruitment, and retention, of female umpires across the state.

SANFL recently launched the EmpowHER female umpiring program. Its objective is to connect umpires from around the state to build skills, share experiences and provide education opportunities whilst creating lasting bonds amongst the group.

The EmpowHER program is designed for female umpires to gather several times across the season in different training and social activities, acting as a step towards the AFL’s National Women’s Mentorship Program.

The first EmpowHER night was held at Pulteney Oval on June 5, with 42 female umpires attending to participate in a basic skills session run by female AFL Field Umpire Eleni Tee, with the support of the SANFL umpiring department.

The participants then attended a dinner which allowed for opportunity to create greater social connections and hear about the experiences of Eleni and experienced female SANFL League umpires Emile Hill (Goal) and Taylah Parker (Boundary).

The all-female umpiring team for the SANFL Juniors match between Modbury and Henley.
(left to right) – Hannah Timpani, Kenadee Ryan, Eleni Tee, Maeya Robinson

In addition to the launch of EmpowHER, three female SANFL Junior Umpires received a memorable experience, umpiring alongside Eleni in an Under 17.5 Girls game played between Henley Sharks and Modbury Hawks.

The umpires were able to soak up Eleni’s knowledge of the game and learn from her positioning, communication and decision-making on the field.

The all-female Umpiring panel involved in the game included Field Umpire Kenadee Ryan along with Boundary Umpires Hannah Timpani and Maeya Robinson, the latter whom was umpiring just her second match and is the daughter of SANFL League Boundary umpire Damian Robinson.

The opportunity to umpire with Eleni, who graciously gave up her time to assist in mentoring the girls, will no doubt be invaluable in helping these umpires to perhaps one day emulate Eleni by umpiring SANFL League and AFL Football.

We have also seen greater involvement in umpiring by females in regional areas with Great Flinders, Port Lincoln, Riverland & Yorke Peninsula Football Leagues all having female umpires involved in umpiring senior men’s A-grade football, some of which have been a first for their Leagues.

SANFL will continue to provide opportunities for females to begin their umpiring career and encourage anyone interested in umpiring to reach out at the following link to learn more:

Sign up to receive the latest SANFL news straight to your inbox.