For the love of the game: McNair to mentor aspiring umpires at Carlyle clinic

            Eighteen-year-old Shelbey McNair has officiated at both provincially- and nationally-ranked baseball tournaments - all before she graduated from high school. McNair's next goal is to officiate internationally, but in the meantime, aspiring umpires of all levels can be mentored by McNair and Moose Jaw's Brendan Moat at a day-long Level One clinic at the Carlyle Elementary School library, Sunday, April 8, starting at 8 a.m.

            “I started out as a ball player,” says McNair. “Becoming an umpire was just me taking another step, learning more about the game and loving it more.”

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            “One of my dreams is to someday go to the Olympics,” she adds. “I knew early on that I probably wouldn't get there as a (ball) player, but in 10 years, I just might get there as an umpire.”

            “Whether that happens or not, ball has given me so much already. I've travelled, I've met great people and it's all while doing something I love.”

            “So I'd like to help other people become umpires if that's something they'd like to do - or even just try.”

            McNair credits Carlyle's Bill Wyatt as one of the people who helped with her development as an umpire..

            “Our clinic takes kids as young as age 12 up to adults of any age,” she says. “Billy received props from Saskatchewan's head umpire, Moose Gibson at meetings in Saskatoon and Regina - for his hard work and success developing young umpires in this area.”

            “Our clinic in Carlyle reflects that,” adds McNair. “It's free of charge if you're from our local area and you want to ump in Carlyle. For people travelling from further away who won't be officiating in our local area, the charge for the Level One Clinic is $87.”

            “Carlyle's program also supplies a community pool of equipment once an umpire actually starts working at games,” says McNair. “That includes uniforms, plate gear, clickers, masks and chest and leg protectors. It's shared equipment, so that allows someone to umpire without a big outlay of cash.”

            “If you come to the clinic, you get insurance and you actually achieve the ability to officiate. To start umpiring in our area, come to a clinic and we'll get you all set up for the season.”

            McNair's upcoming umping duties include officiating in August at the Women's Western Finals in Unity, Sask. but currently, she's looking forward to assisting aspiring officials.

            “We've got clinics planned in Carlyle, Moosomin, Estevan and Ochapawace,” says McNair.

            “There's no need to pre-register,” she adds. “Just bring lunch, indoor running shoes and a good attitude!”

            “We'll do the rest.”

            For information regarding any of the clinics, contact Shelbey McNair at (306)-575-7513.



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