Tokanui umpire gears up for Games

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Tokanui mother of two Kristie Simpson will need to be on the ball this April.
Simpson is due to head to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in early April as a netball umpire.
Simpson has umpired at many events, including the 2017 Netball World Cup in Sydney. Even so, she did not expect a call-up for the Commonwealth Games.
“You can never expect these things, really. It’s something you have to work towards,” Simpson said.
“The whole experience is going to be pretty cool. I’m keen to be immersed in the atmosphere and excitement.
“The only thing is if New Zealand makes a final or a semi, I can’t umpire it.”
As a mother, Simpson said she was very lucky to have the support of her husband and parents.
“I am lucky to have them there to help and support me.”
Simpson has been umpiring since her high school years and said her children, aged 7 and 4, were used to it now.
“As far as they’re concerned, that’s just what Mum does. I think their friends get more excited seeing me on TV sometimes.”
She had already started getting fit and on form for the Games, she said.
“I’m well into my training already. I have been doing a lot of running and core strength work.
“It’s not just a physical component; there is the mental side of things too.
“Umpires use their eyes a lot so I have been doing some vision exercises.”
She received the news she would be attending the Games mid-way through last year after a lengthy selection process, she said.
“The international testers take a certain amount of people from all across the world so there’s a good mix.”
The Games will have her out of New Zealand for two weeks, which she said was “just long enough” away from home.