Many people have taken ELRA and referee development progammes are part of their continuing progression in the game. Read on to see how taking a refereeing course could benefit you.
Participating in an ELRA course
Simon Bottomley took an ELRA course in Ealing and said: “I attended the ELRA sessions at Ealing Trailfinders which was hosted by Ed Turnill.
“I have been coaching at Wasps for the last 9 years and have taken the then U7's up to the current U16's.
“Since the course I have encouraged all coaches from every age group to go on the course. Apart from wanting to have the qualification, I also wanted to know a lot more about what referees are looking for and how they deal with situations so I could pass it on to the players in training.
“I have to say that Ed is one of the best communicators I have had the pleasure of spending time with. Every session was concisely planned and the way it was delivered was worthy of applause.
“I have attended other coaching and refereeing development sessions hosted by Ed at Wasps and as always enjoyed every minute.
“As volunteer coaches and referees we want to enjoy our time on the pitch and hope that the knowledge gained from the ELRA course and other development sessions will enable the players get the maximum out of their game within a safe environment. I am certainly looking forward to further sessions next season”.
Running an ELRA course
Darren Jones oversaw the training of some young referees and said: “The lads who were on the course have been brilliant. They have been attending the rugby club on a Thursday evening - helping out and refereeing the small sided games.
“They have also taken it upon themselves to help out in Key Stage 3 and 4 lessons when they have free periods, where they are able to practise and gain confidence in a safe environment. Hopefully it will provide a natural progression through to refereeing as a society ref.
“On Thursday they are due to referee an U13’s match against a local school – one as referee and the other two as touch judges. In short, as well as playing their own rugby they seem to be really enjoying getting to grips with this new aspect of the game.
“I know that Alex is also a lot more confident having done the course and we were delighted with the practical aspects of the course.
“Once again, thanks for the course – everyone thoroughly enjoyed it”.
Recruiting qualified referees
Andrew Rees is the Secretary of Junior Rugby at Twickenham RFC and spoke about the recruitment of qualified referees into his club.
He said: “We identified last season that we were short of qualified referees to look after all the games held on Sunday’s at the club.
“Having contacted Ed Turnill, he was able to confirm that with sufficient numbers he could accommodate the club by running a specific award course just for our club on our premises.
“The course was a great mixture of class room work and practical outdoor sessions and took place over four nights across two weeks in the summer.
“Ed ensured everyone participated fully and patiently answered all our queries raised over specific laws, so by the end of the four evenings all 13 of the candidates had actually refereed a session feeling confident in their knowledge and ability to control situations.
“For the level of rugby we will referee the course and the award was spot on and we now have a further 13 qualified referees to accommodate our needs.”