Published on August 7, 2022

At HVGS we love to celebrate the achievements of our star athletes. We share stories of fierce competitions and emotion-charged clashes but what about those athletes who manage the on-field battles.

Umpires and referees have opportunities to officiate at a representative level and here we celebrate two HVGS students doing just that – Kimberley Clements (Netball) and Hamish Grebert (Hockey).

girl in umpire uniform standing under a tree
Kim Clement


Hear from Kimberley Clement

Kim has recently achieved a B Badge Accreditation whilst being a part of the Hunter Academy and has a busy year ahead! She has been selected for the Development squad for Netball NSW and will be attending a two day camp in late August for training, fitness, playing and team bonding as a prelude to the National Championship held over six days in September.


How long have you played netball for?

Since I was 11 years old. I represented Maitland in 2016 and 2018 and have since continued to represent HVGS for my school life.

Why umpiring?

I started umpiring with the Saturday Netball club then joined the HVGS Umpiring Club in 2018. It was the guidance and advice from students and staff that kept me pursuing umpiring. I have also started mentoring umpires.


“It is difficult to retain young people, so I want to share my knowledge and offer my input to ensure that they have the confidence to keep going.”

Kimberley Clement

What do you enjoy about umpiring?

I enjoy studying the technicalities of the game. It’s a highly technical and fast sport that requires immense amounts of concentration. There is consideration of your positioning, vison, timing, calls, rule-knowledge and recall. Plus, decisions must be made in milliseconds to ensure a clean, disciplined, integral game. It also allows me to give something back to the netball community.

What does it mean to umpire at a representative level?

In 2019, I represented HRIS and CIS as an umpire at the NSW Primary PSSA three-day Netball Championships. Under the guidance of Netball NSW mentors, I attained my National C-badge at 14 years-old. This allowed me to umpire the Grand Finals of the Saturday Netball season.

In 2021, I was assigned the top A-Grade division at Maitland and umpired for a season. I made the Hunter Academy of Sport Umpiring Squad where I attended two-day Academy Games and received my National B-badge. I also umpired the Open’s Championship (Division 1) at the Senior State Titles event. Though intimidating at first, it was incredibly exciting and humbling. In preparation for umpiring at a National level, I have recently been selected in the Netball NSW Development Umpires Group, which is a targeted group for 17-25-year-olds. I hope that I can eventually attain a National A-badge, and begin to umpire Nationally, and perhaps one-day the Suncorp Super Netball.

What’s up next for you?

I hope that I can eventually attain a National A-badge, and begin to umpire Nationally, and perhaps one-day the Suncorp Super Netball.

What would you tell other students who might be considering umpiring?

Just do it! Though controlling a whole game may seem intimidating, there are so many people out there that will mentor, guide and encourage you! The constant feedback that you receive will allow you to develop as a sportsman/ woman. Starting at a grass-roots level will help develop
confidence and meet life-long friends.


boy in uniform smiling
Hamish Grebert


Hear from Hamish Grebert

How long have you played hockey for?

I first started playing hockey in 2016 when I was 8 and at 11 I joined the Newcastle competition and started playing in the representative team. In 2019 I was selected in the CIS team to compete at the PSSA.

What made you become interested in umpiring hockey?

I would spend a lot of time watching my brothers’ games. The club didn’t have many umpires, so I put my hand up to help out. I really enjoyed it but was still playing, so I didn’t really pursue it. However, early last year I sustained a serious injury that meant I was unable to play.

“During my time in a wheelchair I started officiating games and realised how involved I was and wanted to pursue this aspect of the game further.”

Hamish Grebert

What do you enjoy about umpiring?

I love that it gives a different perspective on a sport. I enjoy watching games that are fair, with consistent decision making and I like that umpiring gives me the chance to do this.

Umpiring at a representative level, what does that involve?

Late last year I was selected for the Hunter Academy of Sports Hockey Umpiring program and was lucky enough to work with Hockey NSW’s Umpiring Development Manager to further develop my skills. In the school holidays I represented the Hunter Academy of Sport as an umpire at the 2022 Academy Games and gained my Level 1 umpiring accreditation. From here I was selected to represent CIS as an umpire at the PSSA Hockey Tournament in Tamworth this Term.

What would you tell any other student who might be considering umpiring?

Just give it a try. Having to focus on the rules and make sure they are being followed is a really great way to understand the game and you get to see different ways players and teams approach the game. It makes you appreciate the work that umpires do.