Bowring excited by Netball World Cup selection

2014 Round 5 ANZ Championship game - Firebirds v MysticsWhen the email appeared in Josh Bowring’s inbox with the results of his application to be part of the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 umpiring panel, he was almost too nervous to open it.

As it turns out, there was no cause for alarm as the International Netball Federation delivered him the news he had been eagerly waiting on.

Bowring, a 25-year-old from Tasmania, is one of five Australians on the panel of 17 umpires selected from around the world to officiate at the NWC2105 in Sydney in August along with Rachael Ayre, Paula Ferguson, Sharon Kelly and Michelle Phippard.

It will be Bowring’s first Netball World Cup and he said the opportunity to umpire the world’s best netballers in his home country was a dream come true.

“The Netball World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport so by far it’s the biggest appointment for any umpire,” Bowring said.

“To say that I’m excited is probably an understatement. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I’m very much looking forward to it.

“I know that Australia will definitely put on a spectacle for the world, so to be a part of that environment for the 10 days of the tournament will be special.”

Bowring said he’s received plenty of well wishes from family, friends and colleagues in the Netball Australia High Performance Umpire Pathway Program since his selection was announced.

“I’ve got great mentors and a great support base behind me like my mother (Gail), Chris Burton, Maureen Boyle and Marj Kerslake,” Bowring said.

“They were all elated and excited for me so it was nice to share that feeling with other people. A few people from home are planning to come to Sydney to make it even more special.”

2014 Round 5 ANZ Championship game - Firebirds v MysticsFor Bowring, the opportunity to umpire at the NWC2015, as well as last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, was something he never considered when he first began officiating netball games more than a decade ago.

“I was more concerned that the ladies’ mid-week social teams were going to give me a hard time,” Bowring said.

“But there are fantastic pathways for umpires in Australia. As I continued to move across those, these opportunities have opened up for me and I dreamed that one day this could be me (umpiring the world’s best).

“Now, after all that time, it’s come to fruition which is really exciting. My goal is to be the best that I can on and off the court and I love giving back to our great game.”

Bowring has been part of the ANZ Championship umpires panel since 2010 and is closing in on the 50-game milestone. This Sunday he’ll be in Perth officiating the match between the West Coast Fever and the Northern Mystics.

While Australian umpires can’t officiate in internationals involving the Diamonds, Bowring said the other nations are still challenging in their own way because of the different game styles each team brings.

“I was just excited to be a part of every match that I umpired at the Commonwealth Games because every country has a different style compared to what we’re used to in Australia and I enjoyed that,” Bowring said.

“The rivalries between nations like England and Malawi and South Africa and Jamaica are so intense as well.”