Dubbo netball umpire Shelley Hutchinson has recently had her efforts recognised in what is a first for netball in town.
Hutchinson has now received her National A Badge in umpiring after months of travelling to and from Sydney for matches.
While the achievement is massive for Hutchinson, it is also big for netball in Dubbo as well with the umpire being the first in town to achieve the level of qualification.
"It's something I've been working towards for a number of years," she said.
"It's good for me but also nice to bring that back to Dubbo and the Central West as well, just for other umpires for badging purposes.
"I can bring back all the skills and mentoring I've received to Dubbo as well, which is great."
Hutchinson said her journey to becoming a National A Badge umpire started long ago but really took off in recent times after being recognised by Netball NSW.
"Late last year I was selected Netball NSW talent identification program so there were six of us from the state in that," she said.
"As far as I'm aware I'm one of the first Dubbo umpires to be selected in this type of program.
"From there what I was able to do was go down in January and umpire the Netball NSW state trials, I was also asked to umpire premier league in Sydney on a Wednesday night."
"I umpired those games across April, May and June, then in my last game was when I was awarded by National A Badge."
After having umpire all over the state in 2022, Hutchinson admitted she has spent quite a bit of time driving between Dubbo and another town in the Central West.
"I've been umpiring in Dubbo on a Saturday then travelling down to Orange just to umpire games there as well," she said.
"Also because there is a National A Badge in Orange as well Michael Rudd, has been able to give me some mentoring as well.
"I've been doing that as well as going down to the senior state titles across the three days, we also had the junior state titles over the weekend but could only get the one day in."
The junior state titles were washed out on the weekend after flooding occurred in Penrith.
Having Rudd as a mentor is something Hutchinson believes has boosted her development, an act she hopes she can replicate for umpires in Dubbo.
"I've known Michael (Rudd) for a couple of years now and it's really good, he actually goes down the premier league in Sydney," she said.
"He has done for a few years and just to be able to go down there every fortnight, umpiring a game then having him mentor me has been a great really good."
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