Outstanding umpire-coach Jessica Rumbel honoured with prestigious Judy Parker Memorial Award

Accomplished Port Stephens Netball umpire-coach Jessica Rumbel receives the Judy Parker Award from Port Stephens Netball Association President Jodi Cassar.

WHEN a fresh-faced Jessica Rumbel first stepped onto a Dungog netball court as an eight-year-old fledgling umpire she wasn’t fazed by the task in front of her.

Her natural ability and confidence with the whistle and passion for the sport shone like a beacon and readied the youngster for important milestone moments on her netball journey.

Today nineteen-year-old Jessica is a National Badged Umpire and accredited coach, who has represented Port Stephens Netball Association with distinction in recent years at state and regional level.

A talented representative player in her youth, the affable Rumbel gets “a lot of satisfaction” in officiating matches or helping develop the emerging young talent in the Port Stephens ranks.

In recognition of those meritorious achievements, Jessica received the PSNA Judy Parker Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the sport of netball.

She received her award from Port Stephens Netball President Jodi Cassar earlier this year – the same night that her tireless mother Samantha, the Association’s long serving Representative Convenor, was bestowed with life membership.

It was a double celebration for the dedicated Rumbel family who have given yeoman service to both the Dungog and Port Stephens Netball Associations over the years.

The award perpetuates the memory of local netball ambassador Judy Parker who sadly passed away last year.

A proud Jessica pipped the likes of highly commended Karuah Pearls stalwart Pearl Manton and eighteen-year-old Terrace Centrals product Ruby Ryan for the prestigious award.

Sam Rumbel told News Of The Area that her daughter continues to use those umpiring and coaching skills as part of the Port Stephens Netball Representative Program.

“Jessica has also been a capable representative player and actively supports umpires and players at both club and Association level to be their best,” revealed Sam.

Three years ago Jessica was selected as an umpire in the Hunter Academy of Sports Netball Program and has impressed keen judges with her mentoring role with Port Stephens’ up and coming netballers.

She was appointed coach of the Port Stephens 14yrs representative team to contest the upcoming NSW Junior State titles in Penrith and Baulkham Hills from July 6-8 and served as assistant coach to Nadine Marsh with the 15yrs squad at last weekend’s State Senior titles in Sydney.

By Chris KARAS

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