Six girls from the PE and Sport courses at New College have joined the iCanRef campaign by West Riding FA by enrolling on a refereeing course. The girls attended a session at A1 Football Factory, took an in-depth online course and undertook practical sessions at the brand new 4G facility at Aspire @ the Park in Pontefract and all successfully passed the course. Once they have all refereed five grassroots or ladies games they will receive their full award presented by the FA. There is a nationwide shortage of referees, especially female ones, and this initiative will be a great boost for recruitment in the area.
The iCanRef campaign shares stories on their website of how individuals from the West Riding got involved, what they love about officiating and what advice they would give to others or those looking to get involved – https://www.westridingfa.com/referees/icanref
They also have an fantastic interview with ex-New College student, Melissa Cairns, who got into refereeing through college and is now worked her way up the ranks and currently working towards promotion to FA Level 4 – https://www.westridingfa.com/news/2021/oct/22/icanref-melissa-cairns?fbclid=IwAR1hQ2s-sdC5rgxX-yM6JpC6KGt0RM1HhuDJvfCJzG-CbSJ0rw0FIwFIeYI
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with New College Pontefract with the delivery of our Female Only FA Referees course. Female students at New College have received joint funding from both the college and from ourselves at West Riding County FA as part of our mission to increase the number of female referees in our county. The females attending this course will be offered the opportunity to referee games in our brand new Women’s Beginner League at Aspire at the Park, Pontefract as well as helping their local grassroots clubs to cover more games with a qualified referee”
Steve Conboy – Football Development Officer at West Riding County FA.
Tom Shepherd, head of PE and Sport at New College, said, “We look forward to continuing our support of increasing girls participation in football. Following this success, we will offer this opportunity annually to all interested students, even if they do not take a sport based course.”