By Hayley Wildes
The School Sport Australia 15 years and under Australian football championships take place in Launceston from 27 July to 3 August, and there will be a Pakenham Secondary College student playing a key role in the tournament.
After a tough selection process, 14-year-old Thomas Kreun has been selected to the School Sport Victoria Australian football umpire team for the national championships.
Having decided to stop playing football four years ago, Thomas began umpiring soon after and found his niche in boundary umpiring to very quickly rise up the ranks.
His love for umpiring came about when he decided to give it a go because he enjoyed running. There’s no doubt that boundary umpiring includes plenty of running and when the championships kick off, Thomas will most likely be umpiring upwards of five games over the week.
Outside of the nationals, Thomas umpires in two leagues – the South East Juniors (SEJ) and Southern Football Netball League (SFNL) – weekly.
“We train once a week and on Saturday – which is Southern footy – I umpire seniors and then on Sunday I umpire under-15s and under-17s most often.” Thomas said.
It certainly keeps him busy and fit.
Thomas’ rise through the Victorian football umpiring ranks has been swift and that is abundantly clear when you consider just eight Victorian umpires were selected; five field umpires and three boundary umpires.
With costs to attend the championships exceeding $2000, sponsorship of Thomas’ journey would be greatly appreciated. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.