AFL Cairns senior boundary umpire Meg Pullinger has been ranked as one of the best youth female boundary umpires in the country after officiating the grand final of the U18 Youth Girls National Championships in Adelaide recently.
Pullinger was one of five boundary umpires from across Australia chosen to represent her region at the carnival.
“I met some amazing people and learnt a lot from them. The common interest was definitely the love for the game” Pullinger said.
Meg’s Championships began with Queensland vs. Western Australia; where unbeknown to her she would be running the boundary in a two umpire system.
“In Cairns, I am used to running a four boundary umpire system, I thought I would be doing the same at the Championships, but it turned out I was only running two”.
The Championships was not only a learning curve for Meg from an umpiring perspective, but she was also taken through what it takes to reach the elite level in umpiring.
Just like the players, Pullinger receive daily attention from trainers, frequent recovery sessions and nutritional guidance for the duration of the carnival.
Meg’s strong performances throughout the championships saw her umpire the Championship Grand Final between Victoria and Queensland.
The match was played at AAMI Stadium after the Port Adelaide vs. North Melbourne AFL fixture, which she described as “an amazing experience”.
Meg believes the whole trip was an experience she will never forget.
“I am very grateful to the AFL and AFL Cairns for their support for female umpires across the country. I met some amazing people, learned a lot along the way, and I can’t wait to put my newly learned knowledge into action.”
Pullinger is an established boundary umpire in the AFL Cairns senior competition as well as an up-and-coming field umpire in the junior competition.
She hopes to one day become the first female boundary umpire in the AFL.