“It’s about what brings us together rather than what sets us apart”. That’s the message from Geelong Football umpire Brendan Beveridge ahead of Saturday’s eighth annual Encompass Cup, where a panel of umpires with varying disabilities will officiate the clash between Belmont Lions and Werribee Centrals.
The Encompass Cup is an initiative that has gained national exposure in past years and highlights the contribution officials with a disability make to local footy.
When Daniel Dorling takes to the field every weekend as a field umpire it is with a passion for his role on match day. This is Daniel’s 8th year umpiring the Encompass Cup and he is one of the many success stories. To his mates at the Geelong Football Umpires’ League, he is just one of the guys, disability or not. Daniel is known as a “journey man” in umpiring; hardworking, accountable and consistent. On Saturday Dorling will take center stage in the Encompass Cup match between Belmont Lions and Werribee Centrals in the GDFL. The senior match will be umpired exclusively by officials with a disability in a bid to highlight the contribution they make to local footy every week.
Dorling’s learning disability has not prevented him from developing his umpiring skills through the ranks. Like many other umpires with a disability, Daniel officiates football matches every weekend. “We are very fortunate to have such an enthusiastic, passionate man like Daniel involved” says Howard Philpott, General Manager of the Geelong Football Umpires League.
The umpiring team who will officiate the GDFL clash between the Lions and Centurions includes Dave Frazer, Jess Crucitti, and Daniel Dorling, boundary umpires Oscar Young, Darryl Dean, Ashliegh Lynch and goal umpires Terry Maloney and Jake Baker-Brooks. Baker-Brooks, who has autism, has been waving the white flags for nine seasons. Both the Colts game and the Reserves will also be officiated by a number of umpires with disabilities. “This is a wonderful achievement, when we started the Encompass Cup eight years ago there were only 2 umpires with disabilities officiating on the day” says Phillpot.
On 2nd of July, Encompass Community Services (Encompass) will sponsor the 8th Encompass Cup Football match at the Jetts Oval Winter Reserve, Glyn St, Belmont, Encompass is a non-profit organisation that offer services to people with disabilities. A registered NDIS Provider , 40% of Encompass’ employees have a disability, reinforcing Encompass’ commitment to providing equal opportunities to the community. Encompass’ mission is to create awareness about disability and the important contribution people with disability provide to mainstream sport, whether it is on or off the field. Libby Fritzgerald, Board Member of Encompass, will present the Encompass Cup to the winning team.
The Encompass Cup is a joint initiative between the Geelong Football Umpires’ League, Encompass and the Geelong & District Football League. The cup brings together a panel of umpires with a variety of disabilities, ages and experiences.
Encompass is excited to see umpires like Daniel reach their goals. “Umpiring is something that everyone can be involved with. It helps people build people’s confidence, management skills and resilience. We invite anyone who wishes to be involved to contact us” says Howard.
“We are proud to be involved in the annual Encompass Cup. People with a disability should have the same opportunities as anybody else. Umpires like Daniel and Jake are great role models for their peers in sharing their skills with the Junior members. We are committed to ensuring that opportunities to play the game are accessible to all” says Mark Davidson, Geelong Football Umpires League Chairman.
Competition: Geelong and District Football League
Game: Belmont Lions vs Werribee Centrals
When: Saturday 2nd of July at 10am Colts, 12pm Reserves and & 2.10 pm seniors
Venue: Jetts Oval Winter Reserve, Glyn St, Belmont
Media enquiries: Kiane McKinlay (0421063868).