Softball Victoria congratulates Debbie Grove on being awarded Softball Australia Life Membership at the SA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 13 October.
Debbie has been an active umpire for over 30 years, from the grassroots to the international stage. Whilst she has excelled within the Australian Umpiring ranks personally, her real service has been to the national umpiring program, with a focus on the Development portfolio.
Debbie’s contribution has been significant, joining the National Umpiring Committee in 2007. She has continued to provide exceptional service to our sport over an extended period.
Training and development are the cornerstones of any program, from writing and implementing policies and procedures, to delivering training courses. The impact of such is significant as it shapes the entire organisation from the novice to the international umpire. Debbie’s 11 years of service to the National Umpiring Committee has been influential in setting and maintaining the standards of the organisation. From the boardroom to the ball park, Debbie has impacted the program. In addition to all her governance responsibilities, Debbie continues to take on the active roles of Tournament Chief Umpire and assessor. This makes her accessible to the umpiring community at all levels. A respected umpire and mentor, Debbie’s ability to transition between administrator and teacher seem effortless. She is highly respected by players, coaches and officials and is valued as both a friend and mentor by her colleagues.
Along with this incredibly high level of commitment and dedication to service, Debbie has also excelled as an on-diamond umpire. With over 25 international appointments, including five ISF World Championships and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, her 16 years on the international stage saw her inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2013. When it comes to contributors to the National Umpiring Program both past and present, few people stand beside Debbie. Her commitment over an extended period has been significant and has impacted the program with distinction. She is an asset to the Australian National Umpiring Program.