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ROWONTARIO (RO) is excited to announce the newly appointed members of the RO Umpires Committee.

The mandate of the RO Umpires Committee is to provide advice to the RO Board on Umpire-related policies, promote umpiring and the umpire program throughout Ontario and, through the implementation of the RCA Umpire Licensing program, standardize and improve the quality of umpiring in Ontario.

In February, the RO Board approved a new Terms of Reference for the Umpire Committee, which redefined the composition of the committee to reflect the breadth of experience (and geographic location) of umpires in Ontario. 

In that spirit, RO has named Brian Fiori (Kingston) and Mike Walker (Ottawa) to the 2019-2020 Umpires Committee for a one- and two-year term, respectively.  Brian has 23 years experience as an RCA-licensed umpire, and 13 as a FISA-licensed umpire.  As well as extensive on-the-water umpiring experience, Brian is a former clinician and has been a member of both the RCA Safety and Events Committee and the RCA Umpires Committee, as well as Sanctions Officer for the Saskatchewan Rowing Association.  Mike also brings extensive experience to the committee, including 42 years of involvement in the sport as a rower, coach, volunteer, umpire and executive at eight different clubs, two universities, and with RO and RCA.   He has also been involved in several Rules of Racing quadrennial reviews for both RCA and FISA. 

Brian and Mike join several returning committee members, including former chair Judy Sutcliffe (Toronto) and Dave Derry (St. Catharines) for two years, and Glenn Bailey (Thunder Bay) and Melanie Bryce (Ottawa) for one year. 

The 2019-2020 Umpires Committee is chaired by Andrew Smith (London), who was announced as chair in March 2019 following Judy’s appointment as chair of the RCA Umpires Committee in late 2018. 

ROWONTARIO would like to thank outgoing committee members Tom Blacquiere (Welland), Louise Hastings (St. Catharines), Wes Kuran (Ottawa) and Brian Storosko (Ottawa) for their years of work on the RO Umpires Committee.  Tom and Brian will continue to be involved in the RCA Umpire Education program as clinicians and will continue to work with the RO Umpires Committee to enhance the implementation of that program across the province.  Louise is actively engaged as a volunteer for St. Catharines Rowing Club and ROWONTARIO and as a Chief Umpire, including being selected as a Deputy Chief Umpire for the 2019 ROWONTARIO Championships.  Louise will also be working closely with the Umpires Committee providing support and guidance.

ROWONTARIO would especially like to acknowledge Wes Kuran, who has decided to retire from both the RO Umpires Committee and as an RCA clinician, stating, “It’s time to pass on the torch to the next very capable generation of umpires.”   He assures us that he will, however, continue to play an active role on-the-water, especially in Ottawa.