Rasch wins Casey Cooper Medal

Following an outstanding 2018 season, Chris Rasch was awarded his first Casey Cooper Medal last Saturday night for Best Field Umpire in the Adelaide Footy League. After officiating in the Division One Grand Final between Tea Tree Gully and Rostrevor, Rasch was recognised by over 150 of his peers at the Umpires End of Season Dinner at the Pullman Adelaide.

It is an achievement that in the past he thought would never happen. “When I started umpiring men’s footy about seven years ago, I said to myself that I would never do a Division One Grand Final or win the Casey Cooper Medal as I doubted my ability to perform at the required level. Over the years I have steadily increased my fitness, knowledge of umpiring and have developed the resilience needed to achieve what I have.”

In accepting his award, Rasch was thankful for those who helped him reach his ultimate goals this year. “Firstly, I’d like to thank Colin and his coaching team for all of their feedback (both positive and negative) this season. Embracing negative feedback is the key to improvement and this has enabled me to continue to develop areas of my umpiring that I had to work on. Thanks also to the guys I umpire and train with – such a great group of mates and peers. A final thanks to my partner Kylie and my children for all the support they give me.”

Looking back on the season, what made it such a success? “Umpiring well on game day enabled me to finish high up in the rankings at the end of the minor round. After a somewhat shaky start to the finals, having the confidence to back myself in three Division One finals, enabled me to perform better each week, culminating in the Grand Final on 23rd September, which was arguably my best performance for the year. Performing at your best in the Grand Final is what the season is all about. My body held up well in 2018. I look forward to working hard again in the offseason and having another crack in 2019.”

The full list of winners from the 2018 End of Season Umpires Dinner were:

Best Field Umpire – Chris Rasch
Most Improved Field Umpire – Ben Williams
Best First Year Field Umpire – Paul Smith
Best Boundary Umpire – Peter McMullen
Most Improved Boundary Umpire – Joseph Colella
Best First Year Boundary Umpire – James van Gilst
Best Goal Umpire – Jason Rigg
Most Improved Goal Umpire – Justin Thai
Best First Year Goal Umpire – Harley Simmonds
Coaches Award – Mark Hill
Rex Lambert Award – Tony Symons

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