Have you ever stopped midway through a match of the greatest game of all and wondered what would it be like to be the man or woman in the middle with the whistle? This is something that very few would contemplate from the position on their lounge chair, the side line of a junior league match or in the middle of a State of Origin decider.
Refereeing is a unique rugby league experience and one that you could so easily immerse yourself in. Unlike many other roles in the Junior League, it is not a volunteer role either, with some financial reward for your efforts.
The Parramatta District Referees Association is holding numerous courses in the lead up to the 2016 Junior League Season. Sporting the slogan “Get Onside in 2016”, the Association is looking to further strengthen its ranks by recruiting some enthusiastic, fresh new faces to commence refereeing in mini football. Their first course will take place on the weekend of the 13th & 14th February.
Refereeing provides an array of avenues for lovers of the game to give back or to make it to the big stage. Parramatta Referees have a successful history of developing officials that have made it to the NRL including current referees Ashley Klein, Gavin Reynolds & Alan Shortall as well as arguably the most famous referee of all time Bill Harrigan.
“The opportunities for referees to progress through the grades in Parramatta are immense”, the Association’s Recruitment Director Daniel Luttringer explains. “We have extremely dedicated people with a great deal of knowledge to pass onto new referees”.
One of the most appealing aspects of refereeing is its inclusive nature. Refereeing is for those of all ages from thirteen years on, for males and females with plenty or little rugby league experience. Association referee Bianca Santi believes refereeing is something that has changed her life for the better. “On top of the fitness levels that I have gained from refereeing and the achievements on the field that I have experienced, probably the most important benefit that I have found in refereeing is the lifelong friendships that you make”.
“We try to foster a real close, family like environment here at Parramatta Referees, whereby we are serious about the job that needs to be done but also have lots of fun along the way” says Luttringer. Evidence of this can be seen in the large number of families that have taken up the whistle in Parramatta, with the first ever group of triplets joining Parramatta Referees in 2015.
Santi has been refereeing for six years and says the most important benefits of refereeing are the friendships, an enhanced knowledge of the laws, improved fitness levels and the feeling of making a positive contribution to the game.
To find out more about the opportunities in refereeing visit the Parramatta Referees website www.parramattarefs.com or drop them an email at email@example.com.