Umpires return to training at Bellbird Park

Goal Umpire Jeff Bell takes the ball during training at Bellbird Park.

Goal Umpire Jeff Bell takes the ball during training at Bellbird Park.

While there has been much talk about the return of local football, an integral part of the game is back with the Gippsland Umpires Association resuming training at Bellbird Park.
Training was brought to a halt at the end of March when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, but after a two month layoff, earlier this month saw the lights flicked back on for the men and women in green.
Covering the Ellinbank and District league, the Warragul and Drouin matches of the Gippsland league and the northern end of the West Gippsland league, the GUA have a large contingency of umpires that hit the track each week.
The bitterly cold Tuesday night wasn’t enough to keep 30 umpires away with a few jovial laps of the oval, before moving into higher intensity work.
GUA secretary Nick Frost said it was positive to see training back, not just for the physical side of the game, but the social aspect as well.
“We were told not to train when the pandemic kicked off and we’ve been really keen to get back. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to get back and I think it’s really important for the guys socially,” he said.
During the shutdown, umpire coaches set up a training plan, to ensure they maintained contact. This meant a few Zoom catch ups, alongside some running.

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