Julie Wilks

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Julie Wilks

Occupation: Full time Mum

Current award and date achieved: A Award, November 2015

Year started umpiring Superleague: 2018

Career highlights:

Being selected to be a part of the VNSL Officiating Squad

How and when did you get involved in umpiring?

I umpired at my local league in Worthing, West Sussex for quite a few years before I finally decided to actually go for my C Award. I did that, then moved quickly on to my B and then my A. It’s taken me three years to get to where I am now.

What has been your favourite memory on or off court?

There’s been many! I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia to watch the World Cup in 2015. That was an amazing experience. I also had the opportunity to be one of the umpires for Tamsin Greenway’s testimonial after she retired from Surrey Storm as a player. That was the day that I thought “yes, this is what I want to do”

Do you have any pre-match rituals before a game?

Listening to music is always an integral part of my warm up. It focuses me and puts me in the right frame of mind before I step out on court.

What are your aspirations for the future?

To be an International umpire and to be able to umpire in Australia and New Zealand.

Who has had the biggest influence on your umpiring so far?

There have been many over the years. My Mentor is Margaret Deighan who gives me clear and constructive feedback, and travels around the country to watch me umpire. I’m also lucky enough to have Jackie Mizon as a friend and advisor. She is always on hand to answer any questions, offer support and advice and she is a current umpire that is at the top of her game – I’ve learnt a lot from her and will continue to do so. Two experienced netball ladies who both know their stuff!

What is your favourite song to train/work-out too?

Titanium by David Guetta.

Do you have any embarrassing netball moments?

Thankfully none. I am sure there is still plenty of time!

What is the best part about being a Superleague umpire?

I’m about to find out, but I am looking forward to being part of the squad that gets to umpire the highest level of netball in the country. I can’t wait to learn from all those experienced umpires.

Finally, what advice would you have for anyone who wants to Umpire in the Superleague in the future?

Work hard off the court as well as on it. You need to be fit and to be able to take feedback and act on it. Most of all, believe in yourself.