Teen takes whistle in family tradition

FOOTBALL umpiring runs in the blood for the Robsons with three generations of the family involved in blowing the whistle.

Chris, 59, has 22 years experience, his son Damon, 35, has 16 years and now Montana Stubbings, 15, has followed in her father and grandfather's footsteps and is involved in her second year of a Northern Tasmanian Football Umpires Association mentor program.

``I got introduced to it by Keith Dolting one of the senior umpires at the time and Damon started when he was about 13 as a boundary umpire and went on to do field umpiring,''  Chris Robson said.

``Montana is fairly athletic and has taken it up through the family involvement.''

The mentor program is run by the NTJFA on a Sunday where junior members run around with a senior field umpire who mentor the young people during the junior matches. 

``On Saturday's the youngsters are boundary umpires but on Sunday's they train to be field umpires,'' NTFUA director of coaching Mick Goodyer said.

Goodyer said all three Robson family members had officiated together in an NTJFA final at Deloraine last season.

``The NTFUA is always looking for new recruits and footy umpiring offers a good way to get fit and earn tax-free money,'' he said.

He said former footballers often made good umpires and there is also a career pathway to the AFL for those who want to pursue umpiring to the elite level.

The NTFUA provides umpires for competitions including the NTFA, TSL, NEFU and NTJFA.

Anyone aged 14 or above is eligible to take it up with training provided.

Further information can be obtained by calling Goodyer on 0415 698 431.

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