Ayre of excitement for our elite umpires

Rachael Ayre
It’s not just the Australian Diamonds that are excited to be involved in a Netball World Cup played on home soil for the first time in 24 years.

It will also be the experience of a lifetime for five of Australia’s top umpires in Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard, Rachael Ayre, Josh Bowring and Paula Ferguson, part of the umpiring panel.

Having umpired at the 2011 Netball World Cup in Singapore, Ayre (pictured above) said it would be a memorable experience to be part of the first tournament in Australia for more than two decades.

“The event is looking like it’s going to be a fantastic spectacle and a real tribute to what a fabulous game netball is,” Ayre said.

“I have actually had the great pleasure of reserving an international Test match in Australia previously, but I do think that Australian and international netball fans are going to really get behind all the teams and provide a great atmosphere during Netball World Cup.

“I have quite a strong netball family – lots of whom are coming to the event and they are all really excited to be a part of it.”

Ayre, one of the most experienced umpires in the ANZ Championship, said the highlight of her career was umpiring the bronze medal match – with Kelly – between England and Jamaica at the 2011 world titles.

“I was super nervous, but very comforted by the fact that I was out there with my friend, colleague and person who I admire the most in umpiring,” Ayre said.

“It was a great tournament and felt very grateful to be given the opportunity to umpire that match with Sharon.”

The 17 umpires on the Netball World Cup panel come from a range of nations including New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa.

NWC SYDNEY 2015 umpires

Rachael Ayre (Australia), Josh Bowring (Australia), Jono Bredin, Dave Brown, Gary Burgess, Paula Ferguson (Australia), Ian Fuller, Sharon Kelly (Australia), Lisa McPhail, Jackie Mizon, Yvonne Morgan, Michelle Phippard (Australia), Theresa Prince, Kristie Simpson, Tracy Smith, Marie Lou Van der Merwe, Joel Young Strong.

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