The Peel Football Umpires Association made history when it fielded WA’s first ever all-female umpiring crew in a groundbreaking women’s clash between the Peel and South West football leagues on Saturday.
Field umpires Sarah Kerry and Zowie Loo, boundary umpires Molly Tingey, Lara Smith and Tess Hall and goal umpires Tegan Bartlett and Jamie-Lee Spence made up the historic crew which umpired the curtain raiser to the Peel v South West Landmark Country Football Championships opener.
A 20-year umpiring veteran, Kerry said it was one of the proudest moments of her officiating career.
“It was amazing. To be part of the first all-female crew the state has ever seen was something special for me,” she said.
“We actually got clapped off the field as we made our way down to the rooms after the match. I’ve been umpiring for 20 years and that has never happened to me before.
“We all sort of put our hands on our chest and it was a very proud moment.”
Participation numbers in female football have skyrocketed in recent years, culminating in the introduction of the AFL Women’s competition which played its first season in 2017.
Female umpiring is following a similar trend.
“I’ve been the only female field umpire in the Peel league for a while now but this season we’ve added an extra and we have a lot of female goal and boundary umpires as well,” Kerry said.
“It’s all about showing young girls that there are options out there for them and many ways they can be involved in the sport.
“The other day my daughter came down and was running water for us so it’s really nice to be able to be a role model for that younger generation.”
Anyone interested in joining the Peel Football Umpires Association can call umpiring coordinator Gary Williams on 0438 920 897.
Anyone interested in joining the South West Football League Umpires Association can call Jason Crowe on 0428 211 484.