Queensland goal umpire Chelsea Roffey was named 2012 Queensland Sport Officiator at the Queensland Sport Awards in Brisbane last night.
Roffey made AFL history in September when she became the first woman to wave the flags at a Grand Final.
Born in South Australia, Roffey grew up in Brisbane where – inspired by Queensland’s first female goal umpire Katrina Presley – she took to the field in her final year at Ormiston high School.
“I remember being at a Lions game at the Gabba when I was still at school, watching her at work. It planted the seeds,” Roffey said.
“Once I got into it, she came out to one of the very first matches I did at school and gave me some pointers on how to read which way the ball would be coming in.”
Roffey rapidly progressed to state level matches and in June 2004 she was elevated to the AFL, umpiring her first game between Brisbane and West Coast in August that year.
Named emergency umpire in both the 2010 and 2011 Grand Finals, Roffey final achieved her dream with a flawless performance in 2012’s Premiership decider between Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans.
As Roffey is currently overseas, AFL Queensland Chairman Darryl Bray accepted the award on her behalf.
Roffey’s award caps off what has been a stellar month for Queensland umpiring.
Earlier this week it was announced that NEAFL Boundary umpire Matthew McKenzie had been added to the 2013 AFL boundary umpires’ panel with two further NEAFL umpires – Andrew Stephens and Aaron Hall – currently trialing for a spot on the AFL field umpires panel.
Queensland now has 2 field umpires, 4 boundary umpires and 3 goal umpires on AFL panels.