Bright future for next generation of referees

The future is looking bright for our next generation of referees who recently completed the FA Referees course back in February.

A total of 21 referees took the recent course at the FDC in Bowthorpe, coming from all over the County. The trainees have been busy officiating fixtures as part of the course in both Youth and Adult football, and have already covered 96 games between them.

Towards the end of April the group were invited down to County HQ to be tested on their knowledge of the Laws of the Game, with every individual successfully passing with some impressive scores!

Gracie East, aged 14 from North Walsham and 15-year-old Kiara Dale from Thetford scored 90.5% on the exam – not far off the County record of 95.2% set by Adam White aged 16 from King’s Lynn back in January 2016.

Gracie and Kiara were just two of seven female referees on the course – the highest number of females ever on one course. We spoke to Gracie, who is also a member of the Norfolk FA Youth Council, to get her thoughts on why she wanted to get involved in refereeing:

“I wanted to become a referee to understand and see a different aspect of the game and to prove to myself and other girls that there are other ways to be involved and successful in football other than playing.

“I also love the pressure felt when making split second decision and also the fun and camaraderie you have with the teams as well!

The next thing for me is to continue refereeing, playing football at the weekends, and helping out with the Norfolk FA Youth Council wherever I can to promote girls football.  When I turn 14 I would like to do a football coaching course so I can continue my push for girls and women’s’ football.”

Mustard TV spoke to Gracie on her achievements – you can watch by clicking on the video below:


David Robinson, Referee Development Officer at Norfolk FA, was delighted with how this group performed:

“It was great to tutor seven females on our recent new referee’s course, which is the highest number of females we’ve had on one course. It’s good to see them getting involved in local women’s and girl’s football within the County as they complete their training games and of course, scoring so well in the examination at the conclusion of the course.

I hope they can continue to progress in their refereeing careers and we can continue to introduce more female referees into the game.”

Would you like to become a referee? Click here to find out how you can get involved.

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