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Home / Personality of the week - Rauna Haulu - Redefining the role of an umpire

Personality of the week - Rauna Haulu - Redefining the role of an umpire

2022-09-08  Staff Reporter

Personality of the week - Rauna Haulu - Redefining the role of an umpire

Who are some of the people who have inspired your career?

I would say Isadore Nell (vice-president of Netball Namibia) is one of the people who have inspired my career and growth so much. I remain appreciative to her. 


You officiated your first major match in 2018 at the age of 30. How have you since grown as a person and as an umpire?

Yes, I officiated my very first match during a school tournament in the Omusati region back in 2018 and it was a good learning curve for me. I have since grown and picked up a lot of experience on how to handle matches at major tournaments here at home. I have also earned a bronze grading in umpiring. 


In terms of development, do you think enough is being done to unearth and develop more umpires locally? 

Yes, I believe so. I think the development is taking place at a satisfactory pace and we can only appreciate the good work being done by Netball Namibia (NN). I really think NN is trying quite hard to reach out to all regions, but we must also understand that they can only do so within the means of their resources. 


What are some of the high-profile matches you have facilitated and how was the experience?

I would say it was this year’s The Namibian Newspaper Cup held at Oshakati in the Oshana region, and the exposure I gained was truly immense. In terms of experience, it was an incredible opportunity as we got to learn even more while in action. Considering that we were trained by local and international experts, I really gained additional experience in terms of how to observe and enforce netball rules.


Have you ever officiated at competitions beyond Namibia’s borders? 

No, not yet but it remains one of my biggest dreams and I will continue to work hard so that I get there one day. 


Namibia recently failed to qualify for the 2023 Netball World Cup. As an ardent local netball follower, what do you think went wrong?

Generally, the team played well under trying circumstances and also against very tough opponents. However, it’s a pity that we didn’t qualify. I think it was a lack of experience by some of the young players in the squad and also a lack of sufficient time to prepare for such important qualifiers. But I believe with enough exposure to high-level competitions and continued nurturing, we will get there. 


What important piece of advice do you have for aspiring umpires?

I would advise that they follow their dreams and not be scared to make mistakes. A good umpire must always be physically fit, and keep their bodies agile and strong. To become a great umpire, I advise that any aspiring umpire should strive to have complete knowledge and understanding of the rules of the sport and they should also understand that character is only built through ignoring whatever remarks coming from the crowd; it’s part of the job. A great umpire must also be courteous to players and coaches.


What is your general take on the current state of Namibian netball?

I think Namibian netball is well on the rise and it can only get better from here going forward. The country continues to improve on the world rankings and with the introduction of the MTC Netball Premier League, more players are now gaining exposure than ever and more are being unearthed from the regions. The MTC Premiership is also played in various towns across the country and that has contributed greatly to taking the sport of netball closer to all Namibians. So, we are doing quite well as a country. 

2022-09-08  Staff Reporter

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