The North West Umpires and Scorers Association has again found itself with a shortage of umpires ahead of the new season and have issued an appeal for help to cope with demand for their service.
Chairman Roland Black explained that the number of volunteers coming through has dried up in recent years and cover had struggled as a result.
“We have presently 30 active umpires trying to cover three North West Divisions. Several of our more experienced members have recently been talking of either umpiring less or even retiring,” he stated.
“If these men stand down, that, coupled with work, family, holiday and other European/Inter-Pro Umpiring committments means we will simply not have enough people to cover two of those leagues, never mind three.
“I think it would be poor form on our part if we didn’t at least make a concerted effort to put the message out there and see if we have any interest in running a Level 1 Course for any new umpires.
“There are fantastic opportunities for umpires these days and it is an ideal way to put something back into the grass roots game.
“We would also be delighted if we had a pool of volunteers that we could call on during the season to cover the odd game if they couldn’t commit longer term.
“The shortage of umpires has become quite urgent so if anyone would be willing to help out I would appreciate if they would let either myself, David Bradley or Lawrence Moore know at your earliest convenience.”
Meanwhile nominations for the NW Coaching Awards are now open, the awards are designed to honour sports coaches who have demonstrated outstanding success over the previous 12 months.
The North West Coaching Network identify the need to recognise and reward those coaches who consistently give their all to grow sport and develop their athletes and participants.
You can find all the required information at www.northwestcoaching.com/awards, including the supporting information and nomination forms, in addition to a great video capturing the impact of last year’s awards.
While the North West Coaching forum is planned to support the education of sports coaches and raise the profile of coaching in the North West region.
The forum will take place at Omagh Leisure Complex during National Talent Coaching Week and will identify areas specific to the development of talent athletes.
Coaches and volunteers from all sports are invited to attend an evening of educational sessions on Thursday, 26 February.
For more information visit - www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/north-west-coaching-forum-tickets-14973015693.
While ahead on the field Eglinton are the latest club to tie up their overseas player for 2015; the Villagers announced that they are bringing 22-year old Jamaican all-rounder Oraine Williams for the coming season.
The West Indian plays his club cricket for Jamaica Inter-Collegiate Sports Association (JICSA) where he regularly opens the batting.
Williams is an attacking batsman and medium pace bowler and he comes with a growing reputation in the Caribbean.
At their recent AGM members voted to return Christopher Pierce as first team captain and his first piece of business was to confirm the arrival of the new professional.
“The eight team league has ensured that competition is as fierce as it has ever been in the region so I’m delighted that Oraine will be coming to Eglinton,” said a spokesperson.
“He is a genuine all-rounder and despite the fact that he is only 22 himself, he seems very keen to work with the youngsters at the club.”