Row Ontario Names Walker Chair of Umpires Committee
News/ Mar 29

Row Ontario Names Walker Chair of Umpires Committee

Row Ontario appointed Mike Walker as the new Chair of the Row Ontario Umpires Committee on Monday.

Walker, who is a former President of Rowing Canada Aviron and a long-time umpire in Ontario, takes over as Chair from Andrew Smith, who served for two years in the role.

“We are excited to announce that Mike Walker will be the new Chair of the Row Ontario Umpires Committee,” said Andrew Backer, CEO of Row Ontario. “Mike brings a wealth of experience from a number of different roles in the rowing community. His experience and leadership abilities made him a natural fit for this position, and we are looking forward to working closely with him as Chair. We would like to thank Smitty for all of his hard work and dedication over the last two years. He did a tremendous job during his tenure as Chair we look forward to seeing him umpiring at regattas in the future.”

Walker served as President of RCA from 2013-17 and has been involved in a number of different rowing-related roles in Eastern Ontario since 1997. He coached at the Ottawa Rowing Club, Ottawa New Edinburgh Club, University of Ottawa, and Royal Canadian Military College from 1997-2005, and served as President of the Ottawa Rowing Club from 2006-2011. Walker also has nearly ten years of umpiring experience after becoming licensed in 2012 and sat on the Row Ontario Umpires Committee under Smith for the last two years.

“I’d like to thank Smitty for his leadership over the past two years, which has been very important in keeping the Row Ontario umpire community engaged as we went through the challenge of the pandemic and shutdown of racing activities,” said Walker. “Over the next couple of years, I look forward to the Umpires Committee building on this work as we get umpires ready to return to sport and back on the water in the ‘best seat in the house’.”

The mandate of the Row Ontario Umpires Committee is to promote umpiring and the umpire program throughout Ontario, improve the quality of umpiring in Ontario, and to provide advice to Row Ontario staff and Board of Directors on umpiring-related initiatives and policies.