Far North Coast junior referee James Palmer has been selected for the 2015 Australian Rugby Union School Student Scholarship.
James, a Year 12 student from St. John's College, Woodlawn, was one of only 14 juniors selected by the ARU.
The SSS program will involve several components including attendance at referee coaching clinics held at NSW Waratahs HQ, Sydney, attendance at the Super 15 Waratahs V. Stormers Match (on Saturday 11 April) including officiating at pre match or half-time exhibition matches.
Ten SSS Referees will also be selected to Referee at the Under-14s State Championships in June at Orange NSW.
James, now 17, started as a touch judge at the age of nine before progressing as a junior referee in the Far North Coast Rugby Union competition.
He is now in his 7th season as a referee and has been the recipient of the Far North Coast Rugby Union 'Junior Referee of the Year' for the past two seasons.
Last year he was appointed to referee the NSW Country Championships Under-16 Final in Dubbo and the FNC Under-18's grand final at Crozier Oval in Lismore.
The SSS program will enable me to enhance my refereeing skills through different seminars, workshops and refereeing opportunities," James said.
"I will be able to work with experienced ARU Referees and Coaches to improve my game knowledge and ability.
"I am looking forward to the opportunities this program offers in continuing to improve my refereeing skills."
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During the month of April, all Referee Associations in NSW will be in a recruitment drive.
"Refereeing presents lots of challenges but for young people it can really improve their skills such as communication, decision making and assertiveness as well as improve their physical fitness," president of the FNC Referees Alan Thomas said.
"We are particularly interested in recruiting more junior and female referees.
"There is a big recruitment drive for females by NSW Rugby and a lot of opportunities now that Rugby 7's has been included as an Olympic Sport."
A Referee and Coach Foundation Course will be held at Lismore Rugby Club on May 3.
All inquiries to ARU North Coast Rugby Union Development Officer, James Perrett on 0404 196491 or register at http://www.rugby.com.au/nswcourses.
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