Hi Phoebe, you attended the National RAFA Youth Council Conference recently. Can you tell us a bit about the event?
On Sunday 4th June, I went to St Georges Park for the National RAFA Youth Council Conference, it's aimed at young referees who want to develop their skills and also broaden their opportunities within refereeing.
The day consisted of four different activities, each covering a different topic and each contributing to the skills needed to be a good referee. It was also aimed at how referees play an important role in football and how we can put forward our ideas through county youth councils.
Can you tell us how the opportunity to participate arose?
I was offered the opportunity to attend the event by Marc Birkett. This was a reward for my hard work throughout the season. It was great to be chosen, especially after my first season as a referee.
What most appealed to you about attending?
I wanted to take part to develop myself as a referee and to learn more about how refereeing can branch into other opportunities. I was also interested in meeting new referees from all over the country.
It was a full day conference, wasn’t it? Was it what you expected it to be?
The day was a lot more than I expected it to be, it was really fun and engaging but also educating at the same time. Everything was well organised but quite laid back, which made it a nice environment for everyone. All the activity sessions were well thought out and all linked to this year’s theme, ‘Take the Lead - Leadership'.
All the members of the National Youth Council were really nice and approachable. The facilities at St Georges Park were excellent, we were provided with drinks throughout the day and lunch in the hotel. We were also very lucky to receive a selection of FA equipment, bags, water-bottles, notebooks etc.
It sounds like you had an enjoyable day. Was there a highlight?
My highlight of the day would have to be when we went on the bouncy castle; we had lots of fun whilst also learning about project delivery, teamwork and communication. We had to take cones through the inflatable obstacle course and then put the cones in a certain formation at the end.
I also really enjoyed meeting new referees, there were people from up and down the country, and it was great to share our experiences.
Sounds fun! So, what do you think you took away with you from the conference and how might you apply this to your refereeing duties?
I took away a lot of valuable information from the conference; I developed my skills as a referee and also learnt more about the wider network within refereeing.
It was also interesting to learn more about the National Youth Council, what they do and how they help to develop referees all over the country through their Referee Development Fund.
Would you recommend the course? If so, who to?
I would recommend this event to any referee who is interested in improving their refereeing skills and learning about other opportunities within refereeing.
I would like to say a big thank you to the National Youth Council for hosting the event and also Notts FA, for giving me the opportunity to go to the Development Day.
If you would like to get into refereeing yourself visit our 'Get Into Refereeing' page.
Alternatively contact our RDO Marc Birkett on Marc.Birkett@nottinghamshirefa.com or 01159837415.