AFL Victoria Female Umpire Academy participants Jess Prime and Jaimie Collard have made history, after being named joint winners of the 2018 Joanne Cox medal.
More than 50 people were in attendance at AFL Victoria’s Female Umpire Academy end of year celebrations last week to recognise another successful year of the program that continues to develop up-and-coming female field umpires across the state.
While the night honoured the efforts of all members of the 2018 Female Umpire Academy, the event was highlighted by the Joanne Cox Medal, named in memory of Joanne who sadly passed away from cancer in 2011 after being a member of the Academy since 2010.
Decided upon by peers and coaching staff, the award recognises a person who displays commitment to excellence, dedication to umpiring and team work.
The joint win marks the first time in the program’s history that a pair of umpires have shared the prestigious award.
Developing their love of umpiring with the Gippsland Umpires (Prime) and Southern Umpires (Collard), the pair join a highly decorated list of female umpiring trailblazers, including Jade Pawley (2011 winner) Shannon Kirkby (2015) Lucinda Lopes (2012 & 2013 winner) VFL and AFLW umpire Annie Mirabile (2014 winner), Bridget Howard (2016 winner) and VFL Development Squad umpire Bronte Annand (2017 winner).
AFL Victoria’s Female Umpire Academy has been designed to support and develop talented female field umpires and assist them in their quests to climb up the umpiring ranks.
Each season, female field umpires are nominated to be part of the Academy and meet once a fortnight to train at IKON Park under the guidance of AFL Field Umpire Mathew Nicholls.
Throughout the season, Academy members are provided opportunities to test their new skills and umpire in representative matches, with the hope of progressing up the ranks to adjudicate at a VFL level.
The Female Umpire Academy is supported by the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation, which is committed to support the development of the next crop of female umpiring talent in Victoria.
Please see below a list of this year’s Female Umpire Academy participants:
- Essendon DFL – Allison Rogers, Laura Emerson, Gabby Ray.
- Gippsland UA – Jess Prime, Jess Mills.
- Southern UA – Jaimie Collard.
- Eastern FL – Sarah Vanderschoot, Gen Devenish, Abby Moore.
- Bendigo UA – Bronte Annand.