Young AFLQ field umpire Chris Melin talks about his ultra busy schedule.

Tuesday, 7 June, 2011

Chris Melin is a young man with time management issues. Not that he doesn’t manage his time well – just that he has a lot to squeeze into his time table.

Melin (pictured), new to the AFLQ Senior Umpire Development Squad this year after two years in the equivalent junior squad, took time off from whistle-blowing duties last weekend to fit in his No.2 sporting love – swimming.

But it was no mug Saturday afternoon paddle up and down a pool.

The 17-year-old field umpire, swimming for Yeronga Park Swimming Club, qualified for the State short-course swimming titles in August with a personal best in the 50m backstroke.

And despite two further PB’s he just missed the qualification mark in the 100m and 200m backstroke by 0.2 seconds.

“Hopefully I’ll get those over the next couple of weekends,” said Melin, a Met-East swimming representative who has reached finals at State level previously.

As important as last weekend’s swimming was, Melin still found time to umpire – three times.

He did an U18 girls game on Friday night, and two U18 boys games on Sunday.

“He’s a very dedicated young umpire for whom we have high hopes,” said Andrew Reeves, AFLQ State League Umpire Coach.

“He couldn’t do his normal games because of his swimming on Saturday but he did a couple of other games to help out.”

Melin, a former Mt.Gravatt junior player, turned to umpiring at U14 level and says he’s motivated by Queensland AFL umpire Ben Ryan, and his personal AFLQ mentor Brent Cue.

“I like the way they go about it – they are a real inspiration,” he said. “They are always committed and always positive.“

While wanting to keep things in perspective, Melin hasn’t ruled out a crack at the elite level somewhere down the track.

But right now he’s barely got time to contemplate anything extra for what is a desperately frantic schedule.

On top of his twice weekly umpire training and weekend matches he goes to swimming training five or six times a week, goes to the gym once and sometimes twice a week, and tackles a full-time engineering degree at QUT.

The former Clairvaux McKillop College student at Mt.Gravatt, now living at Parkinson, has two hours at University on a Monday and three full days from 9am -4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“It’s a pretty busy schedule but I really enjoy what I do,” he said.

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