The regional cricket community will benefit from the support of the Cricket NSW Foundation, which is funding a groundbreaking project supporting umpires across the state.

The NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) will receive a $10,000 grant from the Cricket NSW Foundation to subsidise fees for regional umpire training courses and to provide experience for umpires to travel to Sydney for Premier Cricket exposure and development.

NSW regional umpires have been recognised both nationally and within the state this year. Parkes-base Glenn Pepper was the runner-up in the Community Match Official of the Year category at Cricket Australia’s 2021 Community Cricket Awards. Rising Tamworth umpire Lauren McGill was in the Young Official of the Year final for the 2021 NSW Community Sports Awards.

The Cricket NSW Foundation is the charitable arm of Cricket NSW and exists to enhance people’s lives through cricket, by enabling greater access to the game and promoting social connection.

The pilot project aims to alleviate barriers to umpire accreditation, whilst concurrently providing in-game experience for existing match officials. The focus on regional NSW is crucial for the NSWCUSA, according to Executive Officer Troy Penman, and will provide significant benefit to the broader cricket community.

“We can see the subsidising of registration fees for regional umpire training courses as having a significant impact…match officiating is a unique experience and we want to eliminate any barriers to becoming an accredited umpire,” Penman said.

“The flow on effects will hopefully be substantial, by having more accredited umpires hopefully we’ll see more cricket matches being covered and players not being required to officiate themselves.”

Regional NSW remains a key component of the NSWCUSA and the grant is centered on providing greater access for umpires, easing the geographical and financial pressures of travelling to Sydney.

“There are opportunities for people living in metropolitan NSW that are sometimes not able to be accessed by those in regional NSW,” Penman said.

“By providing a grant to cover the cost of coming to Sydney to officiate we hope to see members gain experience, education, training and development from their time in Sydney that can be taken back to their local area and shared with others.”

The support for umpires across NSW is indicative of Cricket NSW’s purpose to inspire everyone to play and love cricket, according to Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon.

“Match officials in any sport play such an important role in the participation experience…the grant, courtesy of the Cricket NSW Foundation, will help to provide additional opportunities and experience for umpires from regional NSW,” Germon said.

For more information about upcoming NSWCUSA courses please contact Ben Treloar.