You’re caring for umpires like no one else

If the life of being an AFL umpire wasn’t already isolating, it’s only been harder in 2020.

Your support is helping umpires who are facing their own personal crises in this pandemic – and making sure that they and other stressed-out sportspeople are receiving the complete care they need.

Social isolation has been a struggle this year for all of us. But it’s one that footy umpires are already well acquainted with. With no supporters of their own other than a few family members, and plenty of criticism from fans and players alike, it’s already a tough job. There’s a constant pressure to perform on the big stage and, unlike the clubs they umpire for, they don’t have team wins to celebrate

But since sport went on hold, things have been much worse. Many umpires have lost income and community with the delay of the winter season. One umpire in the West Australian Football Commission has suffered severe anxiety, while another has recently lost his leg after battling an infection.

If it wasn’t for the support of generous SCA donors like you, these umpires wouldn’t have the emotional support they so desperately need during this COVID-19 crisis.

Thankfully, your generosity helped launch a chaplaincy program in WA football, at both elite and grassroots levels. Terry Myers, along with Darren and Jenelle Hultgren, began the program before the coronavirus hit, and your investment has helped bring another level of care to WA footy umpires this year.

Terry describes how some of the support networks, which were put in place early this year, have been critical for these athletes:

“The sorts of activities I’ve undertaken to help the umpires during this season of isolation include providing a listening ear. I also send out a weekly ‘just checking up’ email and have commenced a private Facebook group which people can connect to. This group has nearly 70 members.”

Thank you for providing this accredited care – mind, body and soul – just in time to help umpires and others in this COVID-19 crisis.

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