Tricia Sibraa at the peak of the umpiring game
A FORMER Gatton resident has proven a shining spark on both the state and national diamonds.
Gatton's Tricia Sibraa was bestowed with one of the highest accolades in the realm of softball and Queensland sport last week after being honoured with the Konica Minolta 2013 Queensland Sport Officiator of the Year.
Sibraa received the award in front of peers and other sporting icons at the Queensland Sport Awards last Monday, December 2.
A worthy recipient, Sibraa received the award in recognition of her achievements in softball for 2013, one of which saw her appointed to one of the highest positions an umpire can get.
She was appointed as the Deputy Umpire In Chief for the Open Men's World Softball Championships held in February this year.
Adding to the achievement was that it was the first time a female umpire had been appointed in a key management position at a Men's World Championship.
Also in the 2012/2013 year, Tricia was appointed to the Umpire in Chief position at six state and national events.
She is also the current National Umpire in Chief and the Umpire in Chief (Operations) and is an active participant in the development of umpires for Queensland where she is a member of the Softball Queensland Umpiring Technical Directorate.
Sibraa said she was surprised to receive the award and hoped to inspire more females into the umpiring role.
"It was a bit of a shock, I really wasn't expecting it," she said.
"It's been a vision of mine to encourage female softball umpires and ensure they get the best opportunities to umpire at world championships and softball Australia has a very good program."
Sibraa said she had developed a love for the game after first putting on a glove as a student in Gatton.
"You get to meet people from all walks of life and the team work and sharing knowledge (is great)," she said.
"I first started softball when I went to the Gatton Convent and Mary Holley would come over and do softball one day a week and I then went and played with the Gatton Softball Club."
Sibraa said some keys to becoming a good umpire included understanding the intent of the rules and how to apply them and good communication skills.