Following a decline in the number of UK sports officials, “Ref Drive” was established to raise awareness and to help those keen on becoming an official to get involved in sport.
The scheme included coaching sessions from some key figures from the world of sporting officials – including football referee, Howard Webb, cricket umpire, Jeff Jones, and rugby referee, Tony Spreadbury – in an effort to appeal to the officials of the future.
Around 40 young people in total took part, aged between 11 and 14 years of age, and they were all given a real insight into just how tough the job of a referee can be. Beginning with a question and answers session, before moving on to a practical demonstration, the group realised just how difficult it can be to keep up with the fast pace of today’s sporting events, making close decisions very hard to call. In addition, the problem of cheating was also high on the list of obstacles making an official’s task that much harder to perform.
Off the pitch, “Ref Drive” has also provided an opportunity for current referees and officials to seek advice and counselling on-line, should they be feeling stressed or depressed.
Using venues such as the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre, Tottenham Hotspur Community delivers a wide variety of projects designed to support the needs of the people of Haringey. To find out more about Tottenham Hotspur Community, please call 0870 420 5000, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit tottenhamhotspur.com/community
As part of their Spaces for Sports campaign, Barclays have been providing coaching for aspiring referees and sporting officials at the newly re-developed White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre.