As a bunch of nervous and excited kids take to the field in the local football grand final, umpire Indiana Budimir is sure to keep a watchful eye over them as one of Southern Metro Junior Football League’s passionate umpires.
16-year-old Indiana has been involved in local football umpiring for three years, says she loves the job and already has her sights on umpiring senior games next year.
“It’s really fun and I’m just grateful to be able to umpire at the grand final – it’s exciting to be involved,” Indiana said.
Indiana, who contributes her skills as both as a boundary and a field umpire, says she first became involved for “a bit more pocket money”, but has since become a confident and competent young woman on the field.
Winning the league’s female encouragement award last year, Indiana says the support she has received from the league is fantastic as one of many young girls who have become involved in recent years.
“It’s great to make friends and to see other girls down at training and watch them be more confident in what they do.”
Indiana says for the most part, parents and supporters are respectful of her decisions, but admits it’s not always easy.
“There are some bad days, but every umpire has them and that’s okay. You just wait until next week and you’ll have another good game.”
“The kids are always really respectful after a game. Every time there’s at least one player who shakes my hand afterwards and a lot of parents come up to me and say good job.”
Inspired by AFL umpires Eleni Glouftsis and Chelsea Roffey, Indiana hopes to one day follow in their footsteps into the elite level of umpiring.
“I look at those umpires in the AFL and think I want to do that one day. I just love it so much and hope it could be a good career opportunity.”
But in the meantime, Indiana, alongside her younger sister Scarlett who also runs the boundary, are enjoying what they’re doing, earning money and keeping fit being involved in junior sport.
“Junior sport is more about fairness, how well the teams play and not so much about the score. It’s just about enjoying yourself, that’s why I always wish the teams ‘good luck and have fun’ because that’s what we are here to do.”
From 1 July 2018, individuals, clubs, leagues and associations involved in sport and recreation in Victoria, should apply the Fair Play Code to behaviour both on and off the sporting field.
At the heart of the code are the five core values that will encourage fair play for all – integrity – respect – responsibility – fairness – safety.
The code sends a loud and clear message – that bad behaviour, violence, cheating and intimidation has no place in sport and recreation in our state.
To find out more visit Victoria’s Fair Play Code