Tacha blazes umpiring trail
Umpiring boys almost twice her size and age, 10-year-old Tacha Lowry is not scared about being the only female junior AFL umpire in Albany.
Often the smallest person on the field, she is also the youngest umpire in the Southern Districts Junior Football Association.
Tacha first picked up the whistle at the start of this season and umpired her first under-18 colts game in the Great Southern Football League last weekend.
She also umpired the Great Southern Storm’s curtain-raiser exhibition match for the recent WAFL colts match in Albany.
Hoping to one day umpire GSFL league matches in a male-dominated field, she said being the only girl did not worry her.
“I do really enjoy it because it is fun and I am a bit used to being the only girl, so it doesn’t feel weird,” Tacha said. “I have always wanted to play football but I was a little bit scared that I would get hurt, so Mum suggested that I could umpire because it is less dangerous than footy.
“When Mum suggested it, I thought maybe I will give it a go but once I did training, I loved it.”
She trains once a week and wants other girls to give umpiring a go.
Mother Lisa Gwynn said her daughter started umpiring the older groups quicker than she had expected.
“I am very proud of her for just doing it considering there are 14, 15, 16-year-old boys and they all accepted her, no stress. Pretty much when she got the throw-in correct, they said she was good to go and that was the third round,” she said.
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