Seven of the Territory's top sporting officials will mentor local officials and facilitate their development through the 2020 Northern Territory Institute of Sport High Performance Officiating Program.
The only program of its kind operating in Australia, HPOP enhances the quality of Territory sports by supporting officials from the NT to aspire to and achieve high level national and international standards of officiating.
The program enables officials to pursue development opportunities with the support of a mentor. Participants attend high level competitions, participate in professional development workshops, and undertake a 'give back' project within their sport to assist the development of officiating in the NT.
The program, delivered by some of the best specialists in the NT, focuses on developing many of the soft skills that are needed for great officiating such as sports psychology, nutrition and strength and conditioning.
The 2020 HPOP officials are:
- NT BMX - Alex Thomas
- NT Rugby Union - Brett Mullen
- Tennis NT - Greg Dickson
- Netball NT - Ruth Kirk
- Football Federation NT - Jacintha Misob
- NT Cricket - Imran Muhammad
- Yachting NT - Ed Vincent
The 2020 HPOP mentors are:
- NT BMX - Claire Ford
- NT Rugby Union - Steven Frost
- Tennis NT - Leanne Usher
- Netball NT - Kylie Bell
- Football Federation NT - Claire Matthews
- NT Cricket - Rizwan Muhammad
- Yachting NT - Joy Eggenhuizen
HPOP is now in its third year and previous participants have had some great successes such as Leanne Usher, a participant in the 2019 program for Tennis NT, who was selected to officiate in the Federation Cup Final late last year. Leanne progresses to a mentoring role in this year's program.
Katherine's Greg Dickson won selection among the officials chosen to take part in this year's Australian Open.
Sport and Active Recreation senior director Dr Ian Ford said: "The NTIS High Performance Officiating Program is an important program to not only recognise the Territory's top level sporting officials, but to also strengthen the quality of sports across the Territory for the benefit of the wider sporting community.
"Sport facilitates a number of positive pathways for a wide range of people, and the program provides us with the opportunity to bolster an already important network of officials and mentors from sports across The Territory.
"Part of the success of HPOP has been previous officials becoming mentors, and this year two of the officials from 2019 will become mentors."
Leanne Usher, 2019 HPOP official and 2020 HPOP mentor said: "Participating in the 2019 NTIS High Performance Officiating Program was a fantastic learning experience. A highlight for me was being selected to officiate the Federation Cup Final in Perth.
"The program helped me develop into a high performance official and I'm excited to become a mentor this year and work with Greg to help develop as an official."
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