The newly qualified referees have recieved an all black kit, and everything required, from assistant’s flags, cards, a notebook and even a whistle.
Devon County Councillor Sam Robinson provided financial support for the initiative with the allocation of a Community Grant. " I am really pleased to be able to assist Bideford AFC Youth who already provide valuable opportunities for young people in Bideford.” Said Cllr Robinson. “ As well as the personal benefits of increased confidence, responsibility and a broader knowledge of the game, this initiative enables young people to give something back to their Club and the local Community."
Andy Walter FA Referee Tutor was quick to praise Bideford AFC and Cllr Robinson for supporting the project. “Getting anyone to take up football refereeing is difficult. It is especially hard to get youngsters involved. Anything that helps, and encourages, them to get involved has to be good, not only for the game at grassroots level, but also for the youngster themselves.
They do not just only learn how to referee a game of football. But by taking up the whistle and getting out there and taking charge of 22 players, in what can be quite demanding situations, it teaches them so many useful life skills, and helps build and develop their characters.
Supporting the younger generation by encouraging them to be active and involved in sport, in whichever way, has to be good for everyone and the support these youngster have received, in their refereeing training, is both vital, and much appreciated. “
Neil Blackburn, Youth Secretary also undertook the training and will act as Club Referee Co-ordinator. " An important part of what we do is providing various additional opportunities for young people involved in football. Referee training is something that we are hoping to offer to our members each year. We will also be providing coaching opportunities for our older players, which will include attendance at FA coaching courses, as well as first aid training.
photo : Charlie Allman, Michael Gardner-Skeete, Youth Secretary Neil Blackburn, Ryan Peters, Adam North, Billy Blackburn