New role strengthens umpire pathway program

Checker, TonyNetball Australia has appointed Tony Checker as its new Strength and Conditioning consultant for the High Performance Umpire Pathway program.

It’s a new position created to take responsibility for providing strength and conditioning guidance and direction to the High Performance Umpire Pathway program.

A physical education teacher based in Adelaide at Immanuel College, Checker (pictured left) has worked with elite programs in several sports including with the South Australian Institute of Sport and also assisted with the Adelaide Thunderbirds strength and conditioning program.

He is currently the physical performance manager with the South Australian National Football League Umpiring Department.

Checker said he has a passion for developing people’s athleticism and is excited to be involved in establishing a strength and conditioning program for Australia’s top umpires.

“These are the best in our nation and look forward to positively contributing to their adventure and their journeys,” Checker said.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me to be able to contribute to a national program. I love working with ambitious people and I see a group of ambitious people who I can positively contribute to.

“It’s exciting to develop people’s athleticism specifically to the demands of their sporting involvement.”

Netball Australia’s first high performance umpire camp for 2015 will be held in Sydney this weekend where Checker will meet with 11 of Australia’s leading umpires and map out their specialist individual strength and conditioning programs.

Checker Tony2Netball Australia’s Head of Sport Development Anne-Marie Phippard is delighted to have someone with Checker’s expertise and experience involved in the High Performance Program this year.

“This appointment demonstrates Netball Australia’s ongoing commitment to developing its high performance umpires,” Phippard said.

“Tony will be responsible for designing and monitoring individual strength and conditioning programs for umpires within the High Performance and Emerging Talent Umpire programs throughout the year.

“A long-term vision is for Tony to work with Netball Australia to develop a performance services plan that includes the defined physical standards for umpires throughout the high performance pathways.”

This weekend’s high performance umpire camp is all about holistic umpire development. Sessions will include fitness benchmarking, acceleration and recovery work, match play, individual development planning, rules discussions and team building.

The umpires will also be involved in the Australian Diamonds match play session on Saturday and then have join the athletes and coaches for lunch.