TEENAGER Tara Reed will become Western Australia's first female AFLW boundary umpire after being offered a contract for the upcoming season.
Reed, who umpired this month’s WAFLW Grand Final between East Fremantle and Claremont, was stunned to be offered a chance at AFLW level.
"I wasn’t expecting the call at all," Reed said.
"It was a huge shock to find out I’d been offered a contract.
"I didn’t know what to say but it’s an extremely exciting opportunity."
The 17-year-old began officiating in the Perth Football League before moving to the WAFLW competition in 2020.
"My goal as an umpire has always been to keep improving and see where it takes me," she said.
"I’m really excited to grow as an umpire and improve my skills, as well as being part of a growing female football community."
Reed’s athleticism led her to begin a journey in football.
“I started doing long distance with my running group," she said.
"Some in the group started boundary umpiring, and it sparked an interest with me and my brother. We gave it a go and received an offer to train with WAFL coach Greg Gilbee at Ernest Johnson Reserve.
"We both found it a fun experience with a great community behind it. It’s now my third year in umpiring and I still love it."
The teenager has a support team as she continues a family tradition in umpiring.
“My father Matt Reed umpired the 2000 WAFL League Grand Final, so to get this contract 22 years later is special. He’s been a great help in pushing me to improve and giving me advice on game day," she said.
"Greg Gilbee in his role as WAFL coach has always been there, encouraging me and pushing me to improve my skills at training and in games, along with the other coaches and umpires in the WAFL squads.
"I should also pay tribute to my running coach Mark Shaw, who for years has pushed me to work and improve my endurance."
With her elevation confirmed, Reed will work diligently to keep her fitness levels and skills up before her first match in the AFLW system.
WAFL and WAFLW Umpiring Operations Manager at the WAFC Dean Margetts is delighted Reed has been rewarded for her hard work.
"We’re very proud of this news and to have full female representation in all 3 disciplines on the AFLW stage is a big step for WA umpiring," Margetts said.
"This should now give all females the hope that good things can happen when you have a goal and a desire to work hard for it."
The new AFLW season begins at the end of August.