A LACK of referees can really hinder the progress of any local sport or competition.
Luckily, Scone Touch Football can now call on the services of nine new registered officials after they recently completed a level one course.
Among them are Leah and Chloe Ollerton, who have already taken charge of junior and senior fixtures.
Chloe believed there should be a higher number of people completing the course.
“I think some people find it a bit more daunting than it really is,” she said.
“It’s fun, it’s not like you have to get everything right.
“There is a some leeway.
“The course helped with my confidence and I also learned a lot of hand signals, positioning, and skills that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t come.”
The girls’ mother Jen also took part in the course.
She said an influx of referees would offer a boost to the competition while also improving playing skills.
“The course has brought about a dozen new junior referees into the system which, in turn, makes it a more substantial competition,” she said.
“It just gives them a different view of their sport which then makes them better players; it teaches them that respect from being an official.
“I did it as well so you can be with the children and help them.
“It’s about supporting them, and there’s also that avenue of going further as an official.
“Australia’s got some of the best referees in the world when it comes to touch football, so there’s that option if you’re not playing.
“It is a bit of a hidden avenue I think.”
Both Leah and Chloe are now preparing for a busy summer with the sport. The duo head to Nelson Bay for the annual Peter Wilson Memorial Championships after the New Year.
The Junior State Cup, which is the premier representative event, will then take place at Port Macquarie from February 17-19.
Chloe hopes to have level two of the refereeing course finished before the Nelson Bay tournament.
In order to qualify, she needs to complete theory work and a game assessment.
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