Capricornia duo, Peter and Lisa Watkins, are the first father-daughter umpires in the region.
Peter and Lisa Watkins are breaking new ground in the Capricornia region, as the first father-daughter umpiring combo.
The Watkins are a footy-mad family, with Peter the president of the AFL Capricornia Junior League and the Yeppoon Swans and two of his sons playing footy as well.
So, it was inevitable that Lisa would be involved in footy in some capacity, and after playing for a number of years, she decided to get into umpiring.
“I really enjoy it actually,” she said.
As a woman, Lisa said there is still a way to go in regards to respect between players and umpires.
“People sometimes assume I’m going to be softer because I’m a girl but it was important from the beginning or they will walk all over you and you’re there for nothing,” she said.
“They’re still getting used to me but especially things like swearing I don’t have any tolerance for that and I think that sometimes shocks them.
“They should be out there to play football and I don’t think some of them are.”
Lisa said she doesn’t worry about being intimidated, and other girls shouldn’t let their gender stop them from umpiring either.
“I think a lot of them probably are too scared to be out there and deal with those sorts of situations but I am protected and the players know they can’t lay a hand on me or anything,” she said.
Peter and Lisa have umpired together before, and Peter said it was a great experience for him.
“I was proud to have the opportunity to umpire together,” he said.
“We have umpired together off and on, but I just wanted to do one senior game with Lisa.”
Peter said he’s never worried about Lisa out on the field.
“I think she gets a certain amount of respect for having a go and being there and I’m confident that she’ll handle it and I’ve seen her send them off if she’s copped a spray that was inappropriate.
As for offering umpiring tips, Peter said he doesn’t really need to help Lisa out too much.
“She’s a pretty strong-willed girl,” he said.
“She works it out herself fairly well and, as with most umpires, they get plenty of people giving them tips.”