BY SARAH BLACK – REPOSTED FROM WOMENS.AFL
FEMALE umpires took to the field for the first time in the WAFL over the weekend.
Field umpire Gabby Simmonds and goal umpire Chloe Wright took charge in Friday night’s round 19 clash between East Perth and West Coast at Leederville Oval.
“I got into umpiring as a way to keep involved in the game after playing Auskick when I was younger,” Simmonds told the WAFC Record.
“There weren’t any junior girls’ teams in my area, so I decided to give umpiring a go.”
Congratulations to field umpire Gabby Simmonds who makes history tomorrow night becoming the first woman to field umpire a WAFL game.
Goal umpire Chloe Wright will also be making her debut in the same game between East Perth & West Coast – the duo also a first for the WAFL.
Wright has a family connection to thank for her umpiring journey.
“I started goal umpiring because my sister decided to begin playing football, and her team required a goal umpire. I decided to give it a go and surprisingly ended up enjoying it.”
WAFL and talent pathway umpire specialist Dean Margetts, who has officiated over 300 AFL games, has worked with the pair.
“They’re both extremely committed to their craft and go about their business with a minimum of fuss,” Margetts said.
“Both ladies also embody the environment and standards we have at Umpiring WA, their character is of the highest order.”
Every state league competition has now had either a female field or goal umpire oversee a match.