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Future looking bright for young umpire

Up-and-coming New Zealand umpire Caleb Binns relished the opportunity to officiate at last week’s New Zealand Men’s Netball Nationals in Porirua.

The 20-year-old is part of the Netball New Zealand Umpires Programme, and said is was great to test a different skill set through umpiring the country’s top male players.

“I really enjoyed it – men’s is a completely different type of style to the women’s game. It’s more aerial, a bit more physical and quite mentally challenging making sure you are in the right places,” Binns said.

“Because it’s so fast, you often need to anticipate the long balls to make sure you’re in the right position. It’s a bit of a brain overload which has its own challenges, so it’s great to get that experience before moving on to umpire higher level games.”

Earlier this year Caleb umpired at the New Zealand Mixed Nationals, South Island Secondary Schools, Netball NZ U19 Champs in addition to club games for Netball Wellington.

The young talent is already eyeing his next challenge as an umpire at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Champs in Nelson this October, and the hopes of progressing to the Beko Netball League ranks in the coming years.

“I treat umpiring as my sport. It’s a real mental exercise and I love keeping up with the fitness side of it too.

“As umpires we strive to create the best environment for the players to showcase their abilities and that’s our aim for every game. I love the adrenalin of stepping out onto the court ahead of every game.”

The Netball New Zealand Umpires Programme is proudly supported by G.J. Gardner Homes.