Young um­pires will­ing to pay the price for the game

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Sports -

BECK­EN­HAM’S Dick­son Wa­mukoya-Gar­butt can thank Uber drivers for help­ing him en­joy his pas­sion for um­pir­ing Aus­tralian Rules games.

The 17-year-old did not have his driver’s li­cence last sea­son and had to catch a Uber to games, mean­ing all his pocket money earned had been fund­ing his Uber trips.

But that did not bother the John Curtin Col­lege of the Arts stu­dent.

“It wasn’t about the money, it was about get­ting there and liv­ing it in the mo­ment, so it was def­i­nitely worth it,” he said.

“Footy is re­ally big and the fact you come on week­ends and you in­ter­act, it’s a great so­cial place.”

Dick­son moved to Aus­tralia from Kenya at the start of high school and be­came in­volved with um­pir­ing.

He re­ceived the En­cour­age­ment Award last year as part of the Perth foot­ball dis­trict and he was se­lected to um­pire at the Girls Na­tional Di­ver­sity Cham­pi­onships.

Can­ning Vale’s Basil Thomas says he takes any abuse he cops as an um­pire as mo­ti­va­tion to con­tinue im­prov­ing his game.

“I ac­tu­ally find that if some­one comes out and abuses me, I take that per­son­ally and use that en­ergy to lift my game,” he said.

The Melville Se­nior High School stu­dent has al­ready shown he can cope with the chal­lenges of um­pir­ing.

He has re­ceived mul­ti­ple ac­co­lades dur­ing four years of um­pir­ing, in­clud­ing be­ing named the Um­pire of the Year last year as part of the Perth dis­trict foot­ball and se­lec­tion to um­pire at the Boys Na­tional Di­ver­sity Cham­pi­onships and AFL Na­tional U16s Cham­pi­onships last year.

Basil said the best part about be­ing an um­pire was bounc­ing the ball at the start of the game.

“You get the thrill when you pull it off,” he said.

He said he got into um­pir­ing af­ter his mother men­tioned the pocket money he could make.

“First year was a lit­tle bit daunt­ing be­cause I wasn’t used to age groups,” he said.

“I can now um­pire pri­vate school games.”

Peo­ple in­ter­ested in um­pir­ing can con­tact their lo­cal league at www.getin Dick­son Wa­mukoya-Gar­butt and Basil Thomas are both look­ing for­ward to the up­com­ing sea­son.

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