On Wednesday 31st August the Year 3-6 students were fortunate to be visited by a guest speaker. Matt Stevic is an AFL umpire and he kindly spoke to the students about his job. All of the students found the information he shared to be very interesting. They were also given the opportunity to ask questions.
Matt spoke about his journey from playing sports as a child to becoming an AFL umpire. Although he played football as boy, at the age of sixteen he stopped playing and focussed on umpiring. He also loved playing basketball when he was younger.
When asked if he had another job aside from umpiring Matt said that he used to be a teacher of Year 7-10 students and he now works in finance. Matt shared lots of details about his umpiring job. He was fortunate enough to umpire AFL Grand Finals in 2012, 2014 and 2015! To get to this elite level he had to progress through the ranks, starting with local footy, followed by regional. He then worked at VFL level and currently umpires AFL
Matt gave the students an insight into why playing sport with a positive attitude is vital. He encouraged the students to try a range of sports to build their confidence and skills. He spoke about the importance of hard work and perseverance to achieve their best in any endeavour that they are passionate about because if they love what they do it makes it a pleasure, not a chore!
As an umpire he trains each week by participating in a range of activities (running, swimming, gym work and bike riding). The umpires train for most of the year. When speaking to the students about their approach to sport he highlighted the value of sportsmanship regardless of the result or individual performance of team members. The focus is enjoyment and being a supportive team member who avoids negativity. Being an effective team member who achieves their goals and dreams does not involve negativity. Sport is hard and disappointment is part of the experience which can be used as motivation. When motivated, skills practice and team encouragement builds team spirit.
We are grateful to Matt for his insights and advice and wish him well as the footy finals draw closer!