When we think about participating in sport, we usually think that this can only happen by being a player. It is true this is the way most people enjoy their weekend dose of outdoor activity, but it is far from the only way. With more than 6000 participants, Football Far North Coast needs approximately 150 referees and match officials every weekend and these people are a vital part of organised sport.
It does not matter whether you're a current or former player as long as you are aged at least 13 years. Many boys and girls who started as a referee at that age have found much success and gained great personal rewards. It is a good way to earn a few extra dollars by being involved in the game as a match official, although like anything you need to be devoted and have a passion for it. Not only will you learn more about the game, you may possibly follow some of the talented match officials from the local area who have followed pathways to higher opportunities. It is also a chance for players to contribute back to the game, as they often become excellent referees, although sometimes they realise it's not as easy as they thought it was.
Former FFNC referee Tanya De Boar now has FIFA accreditation and is a regular in the W-League, while referees like Luke Mackney and Ben Haigh officiated at the National Youth League level. Numerous local referees have also been identified at state and national championships and without exception, match officials enjoy the opportunity to get up close and personal with the beautiful game, without having to kick a ball.
The next referee course is soon and registrations are limited. The course runs over three sessions at the South Lismore Bowling Club and participants must attend all three sessions.
• Session One: Sunday, February 26 (9am to 3.30pm).
• Session Two: Wednesday, February 29 (6.30-9pm).
• Session Three (exam): Thursday, March 1 (6.30-9pm).
The cost is $50 per participant (includes law book, course materials and lunch on the Sunday session) but you will recoup this very quickly when you start refereeing games. To register and pay for the course visit www.ffncreferees.com.au/join-us/upcoming-courses. Further enquiries to email@example.com.
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