Dubbo Photo News & Dubbo Weekender

Jonathon has a deft touch

JONATHON POWYER’S sporting star is on the rise.
The passionate touch referee has been recognised for his skills and chosen to officiate at the National Deaf Championships. In fact, he is so well-regarded, he was one of the whistle-blowers in the finals.

Jon honed his skills here in Dubbo, attending training and development courses and refereeing competition games as well as carnivals before being selected for the Deaf Games in Geelong. He refereed men’s and mixed matches before being selected for the play-offs.
According to Dubbo Referees coordinator Emma Webster, Jon played touch many years ago but it was when he moved to Dubbo in 2010 that his interest was reignited. Starting as a player, he was one of the first to put up his hand to referee and his ability to read the game and get into good position had many people talking.
“Jon is really focussed on doing a good job. His signals are second to none,” proclaimed an obviously proud coordinator.
Jon is a precision welder. And he has shown himself to be as meticulous in his preparation for touch as he is for his trade.
“He is a Level 2 referee who’s improving all the time,” Emma said.
“Last year he travelled to Sydney to assist in the Vawdon Cup.” This experience, combined with his performances at country and regional championships have impressed all the players.
According to Emma, Jon is a top bloke, very reliable and easy to work with. His goal is to reach at least Level 4, currently the highest qualification achieved by any deaf referee in Australia.
Jonathon and his wife, who is also profoundly deaf, have two beautiful little girls. As a family, they have developed remarkable communication skills. These skills have proven invaluable in the game.
Emma also told me that she and Jonathon write notes to each other when discussing rules and moot points “if gesticulating fails!”
There’s no doubt who’s in control when Jonathon Powyer has the whistle. Players who think that they can get away with smart remarks have learned quickly that the nationally-recognised ref has an innate ability to read body language – and lips!