We sat down with Amanda to have a quick Q&A about her background and her aspirations for her new role:
SMJFL: Would you like to tell us a bit more about your background?
Amanda Beet (AB): I’ve been with a club for about seven years since my boys started playing and perhaps even before that when they started with AusKick… I love seeing kids getting involved in the game.
I’ve been a team manager for many years for my older son’s team, and more recently in the last few years, a club secretary as well.
I’ve got a good understanding from the club perspective as to the way things are looked at and have dealt with leagues for many years. So it’s interesting now seeing it from a club’s point of view.
SMJFL: What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
AB: One of the things I was a little disappointed at when I took the role was I would have to give up the club roles, but I understood that going into it and I think it’s time for a change. But I love the fact that I’m still able to deal with a bigger group.
Over the years I had a wonderful relationship with my older sons’ team, being almost a den-Mother type figure. They were all very disappointed when Mumma Bear decided to ‘abandon’ them was their words. But now I’ve got a whole umpiring department to be Mother hen [for].
I’ve got to say, in a couple of weeks, it’s been so quick for me to just slide in to defending these guys, being out there and just watching them play footy to their umpiring is just extraordinary. A lot of them play footy and umpire and they’re able to make that transition so quickly between being an impartial umpire to being a player on the same day… It’s just amazing.
SMJFL: With the Lightning Carnival and finals approaching, what’s your advice for umpires, players and supporters in dealing with umpiring these high-pressure games?
AB: A good system that we have this year is that the league has said, I also believe we did last year that if you’re playing in finals you won’t be umpiring… They commit themselves fully to their team if they are playing in finals…
For the most part, these young people, who will be, perhaps, be umpiring for the first time under very high stress situations, with a lot of passionate crowds… We’d like the crowds to just remember that, like the players, umpires will sometimes make mistakes, sometimes they will do it beautifully. But everybody’s just got to give everybody a fair go.
Lightning Carnivals in particular, we just want complete calm. Our parent volunteer umpires have just been magnificent this year. Can’t speak more highly of them. They put their hand up for the most because they love being involved in their kids’ teams. And we even have a few who have loved the involvement so much this year that they’ve actually come to us…
We’ve got one chap in particular who’s already umpired a couple of league matches now, as well as doing his parent umpiring. Because he’s done the training, loves it so much and wants to do both. We’re hoping for a bit more of that, coming through next year.
To get in contact Amanda for all things umpiring related, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.