Umpire ready for pressure of Glasgow Games

Last updated 05:00 16/07/2014
Jono Bredin
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WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK: Netball South umpire Jono Bredin will officiate at the Commonwealth Games starting in Glasgow later this month.

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Netball South umpire Jono Bredin is under no illusions when it comes to the challenge of his next assignment. After all, the Commonwealth Games is the ultimate international sporting stage.

Bredin, who now resides in Dunedin but is a former Gore High School pupil, will join Northern's Yvonne Morgan as the two New Zealanders selected to control netball fixtures in Glasgow.

For a dedicated umpire like Bredin, it's the "pinnacle" of officiating.

"Because it only comes around every four years, the Commonwealth Games does feel special," he said.

"It is the pinnacle for me because it's not just netball like our own World Championships - you get to go to an event with the world's best athletes and officials from so many sports. Just being in that environment you can learn so much and meet some incredible people."

After a hectic season to date with the whistle, Bredin is keen to continue the form which has seen him ranked number one in New Zealand.

"I just want to do the best I can - this is what I train so hard for," he said.

Umpires will be assessed daily by a panel at the Games with appointments for medal matches determined by their individual performances.

"You're only as good as your last game so the pressure is always there to perform."

Bredin is no stranger to the elite ranks, controlling games at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 and the World Netball Championships in Singapore in 2011.

From the aerial nature of the Caribbean to the unpredictability of the African nations, each country injected their own flair on court.

"You come across very different styles and that's the challenge of umpiring international netball," Bredin said.

"Once players pull those international dresses on and are representing their country, it's a different level of intensity."

Since his debut on the international scene in 2009, Bredin, 29, has notched up an impressive resume of fixtures, including 42 Test matches around the globe. He will add to the tally further after being appointed to the Australia versus England Test Series in Australia in October.

Ranked as the leading New Zealand umpire, his skills earned him the ANZ Championship grand final in both 2013 and 2014 and he now boasts 71 trans-Tasman league games to his credit.

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- The Southland Times

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