Harvey Netball Association’s Coralee Italiano receives recognised with Netball WA Umpire Achievement Award
A Harvey sporting volunteer has been recognised for her achievements after winning a state award.
Harvey Netball Association committee member and umpire coordinator Coralee Italiano received this year’s Netball WA Umpire Achievement Award at the Jill McIntosh Awards held in Perth last weekend.
Ms Italiano said she felt “quite humbled” by receiving the award.
“To me, it is just a natural thing that I’ve always done,” she said.
“I’ve always given back to my community and I think like all volunteers, we don’t expect anything in return because we love it.”
Ms Italiano originally started umpiring netball as a teenager, before work and family commitments made her give it up until her daughter started playing the game and the association could not find umpires.
“Umpires are few and far between so I thought ‘we’ve got to start upskilling people or we won’t have anyone’,” she said.
The result was her introduction of the Green Shirt Umpiring Program to Harvey, to skill up the town’s next generation of netball umpires.
She went through the program herself last year to ensure she could teach it, before mentoring 10 people through the 10-week theoretical and practical program this year. The students take part in the program at no cost to them.
The award winner said she hoped the association’s program would continue growing into the future.
“Hopefully it will snowball and continue to grow because we need umpires, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to play a game of netball,” Ms Italiano said.
“What I try and teach the girls is once you’ve got the skills to be an umpire, the sky’s the limit.
“There’s a real great pathway you can go through and you can keep educating yourself.”
A number of this year’s participants said the Green Shirts program had boosted their skills and confident, with some hoping to start umpiring in next year’s season.
In announcing her win, Netball WA said Ms Italiano’s friendly and positive character had made her a great role model to both aspiring umpires and association members on and off the court.
Ms Italiano does not see the recognition as being personal, crediting her award to the club and the direction it is going in.
“I see it as a recognition of all the hard work the club is doing and just to show the netball community we are achieving big things and we’re moving in the right direction,” she said.
“We are little, we are small, but we stand tall and we mean business here.”
The club’s netball season wrapped up on Monday night.
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