Posted by AndyRyan on September 23, 2009
Chelsea Roffey is paving her way in two quite distinct careers. Working both as a writer and presenter for online content producer Media Giants - including being one of the faces of the new Citysearch video channel - Chelsea also works behind the big sticks as a goal umpire in the AFL. Kluster’s Andy Ryan tossed up the grass, pulled up the socks and drop punted a few questions for Chelsea to give us the score.
Andy Ryan: What first got you interested and involved in Aussie Rules?
Chelsea Roffey: I was born in South Australia, so even though I grew up mostly in Queensland, my family was always into Aussie Rules. My dad played in his youth and I was always around matches as my two younger brothers also played. I loved joining dad and the boys for a bit of kick-to-kick at the park or in the backyard. I went to matches at the Gabba to watch the Lions and developed a love for the game.
AR: Tell us a bit about the pathway you've travelled; from first taking up umpiring to where you are today. Has there been a particular highlight?
CR: In my final year of high school in 1998 I had the chance to do some goal umpiring for the guys at school. I saw it as a great opportunity to be involved with footy. I only did a few matches at school, but joined the local umpires’ association the following year and continued umpiring as a part time job while studying at uni. I worked my way up from under-18s and the lower league divisions, to senior state league level. During my sixth year of umpiring, one of the AFL goal umpires retired, opening up a spot on the list (four contracts were available in QLD). The umpiring boss in Melbourne came up to observe me in a match and decided I was at an appropriate standard to be offered a contract.
A highlight was definitely getting the phone call from Jeff Gieschen offering me an AFL contract. I was ecstatic. I remember receiving my AFL tracksuit and wearing it around the house for a week.