April’s Featured Umpire: Pamela Peacock
Umpires/ Apr 1

April’s Featured Umpire: Pamela Peacock

Pamela Peacock
Club Affiliation: Ottawa Rowing Club
Current City: Ottawa
Number of Years Umpiring: 3

What was your background in rowing before you started umpiring?

I started rowing in grade 9, at KCVI in Kingston, and rowed throughout high school. While I didn’t row at university, I stayed connected to the sport by joining summer rowing leagues off-and-on over the years. When I moved to Ottawa in 2014, I first joined the recreational rowing group at the Ottawa Rowing Club and quickly transferred into the Master’s Women’s program, as that group really matched my competitive spirit. I have been rowing with the ORC Master’s program ever since.

When and why did you become an umpire? And what interested you most about becoming an umpire?

I started umpire training/education during the pandemic. A free, virtual course was offered in February 2021 and I took advantage. At first I really saw it as an opportunity as a rower to better understand the rules and all the things that umpires are considering on the water (and off), as I think this can help make race days go more smoothly and be less stressful. It also seemed like a great way to support my club, as it runs informal regattas as part of its adult rowing league in the summer, as well as a sanctioned head race in the fall. I took the virtual L2 course in early 2022, and have been putting in the practical experience hours since then. I’m just about to take the L2 test to become a licensed umpire. From there, we’ll see where the umpiring adventure takes me. Ultimately, I think it’s a nice way to be able to support the rowing community.

What role during a regatta do you enjoy the most?

There’s something I enjoy about all the positions, but I definitely enjoyed the finish tower and the excitement of tight races. The race umpire position is also quite fun, as you get to see the action unfold. Although our role is to ensure safety and fairness, it is quite motivating to see athletes of all ages, abilities and experiences giving it their all down the course! As a Type A, very list-appreciative personality, I also like the control commission roles. This is also a position that lets you encounter most athletes either going on or off the water, so it’s nice to recognize some familiar faces, and hopefully set a nice tone for the race ahead. So, in sum, I’m not committing; I enjoy all of the roles!

What advice would you give to new umpires or someone thinking about becoming an umpire?

The L1 umpire training is free, so a very cost effective way to get your feet wet and see what it’s about while gaining the knowledge to volunteer at regattas as an assistant umpire. What does it hurt to take the online course and get more information about the sport? Once you are an associate or assistant umpire, you have the choice to participate as much or as little in regattas as you want and to pursue becoming licensed or not. Umpires are a pretty welcoming group, though, so once you start and you will likely want to stay involved. Every umpire-in-training has a mentor to help make the journey smoother (and mine have been grrrreat!), so definitely take full advantage of learning from their experiences. See if it’s for you by completing the first course.