Jackie Packet is stepping down off the ref chair and hanging up her whistle.
The long-time volleyball official has officially retired from officiating at SHSAA volleyball events at the end of the 5A Provincials in Prince Albert this past weekend.
Packet says she thought provincials in Prince Albert was a way for her to finish her career on a high note.
“Everyone’s life goes through different stages. I have been on the ref stand a long time and I just thought it’s time to step away. I just turned 60 so I thought this would be my last high school volleyball tournament. I may still have to do some club (games) in the spring, but I thought it was a good way to go out with Prince Albert hosting 5A boys and 5A girls.”
Throughout her officiating career, Packet has received recognition from the SHSAA with several services awards and was inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 in the Builder category. Packet moved to Prince Albert in 1985 to begin her teaching career in the Prince Albert Catholic School Division, where she taught for more than 30 years.
She says the spark to become an official came to her back when she was still playing during her high school career.
“I started officiating when I was in high school and then when I went to university to become a teacher, I played some rec ball and then I officiated that rec ball. Once I was a teacher at the age of 21, I continued to ref as well as coach I’ve been at it a long time.
“All through school I played sports, and I recognized that the adults that ref our games really gave back to the sport and helped the sport develop. When I became a teacher especially, I recognized that in order to help the games develop, good solid refing does help.”
Looking back at her career, Packet says it has been rewarding to see athletes choose to give back to the game in many different ways.
“I have now refed children of the first people I’ve refed, and I’ve seen people that I have refed turn into coaches and it’s just wonderful to be in one community and watch the game develop and watch these young people turn into adults and still contribute to the game and play or coach or ref with me.”
Packet says she plans to continue officiating basketball.