ROWONTARIO (RO) is pleased to announce Andrew Smith as the new Chair of the provincial Umpire Committee.
Andrew – perhaps better known as “Smitty” – began rowing in 1977 in Woodstock Ontario. He continued to participate through high school and college. He was away from rowing during his early career with the Canadian Armed Forces but recaptured his love for the sport when posted to CFB Trenton and becoming a part of the Quinte Rowing Club as a coach and competitive Masters rower. Once relocating to London, he stayed involved as a coach, board member, rower and parent of rowers. In 2008 he was the equipment manager for Canada’s Paralympic team travelling to Beijing.
Translating both his love of rowing and helpful nature to umpiring was an easy transition for Smitty. He has been an active umpire for ten years, and has extensive experience umpiring at regional, provincial, national and international regattas of all levels. He remains a competitive Masters rower and member of the regatta organizing committee in London, ON that runs multiple events every year on Fanshawe Lake.
“Upon learning that Judy decided to take on the RCA role, there was no doubt that selecting the next Chair was going to be difficult as new person would have big shoes to fill. ROWONTARIO owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to Judy for the work that she has done for the umpires and the program in Ontario.” said Andrew Backer – ROWONTARIO Executive Director. “I am very excited to appoint Smitty as the next Chair of our Umpires Committee and am very confident that he is the right person to build on the successes achieved and continue to strengthen and professionalize the umpire program in Ontario.”
Smitty will take on the position of Chair on March 1st, 2019, taking over from Judy Sutcliffe. Judy, who has been the Chair of the RO Umpire Committee for 10 years, was recently appointed the Chair of the RCA Umpires Committee. RO is grateful for her leadership in Ontario but is also excited to work closely with her as she leads the National program and will continue to ensure the safety and fairness at all rowing competitions across Canada.
“This seemed like a natural next step to support my love of rowing, facilitating the best experience for the athletes with safety and fairness for all.”
Andrew’s first task as Umpire Committee Chair will be to work with RO staff to select the members of the Umpire Committee.
The mandate of the RO Umpire Committee is to promote umpiring and the umpire program throughout Ontario, improve the quality of umpiring in Ontario, and to provide advice to RO staff and the RO Board of Directors on umpiring-related initiatives and policies.