Earlier this month, the Berkshire County Girls Football League, along with referees from up and down the country attended the FA’s inaugural Referee Recognition Awards Ceremony at Wembley Stadium. The evening, arranged by The FA Refereeing Department was an opportunity to recognise match officials with a range of awards throughout the evening.
The Positive Environment award was to recognise a team, club or league who have shown consistent exceptional levels of care and support towards match officials. The winners should show respect and cultivates a positive, safe environment for match officials to learn, grow and develop.
"And the winner is... the Berkshire County Girls Football League!" announced the evening’s host, Mark McAdam. The nomination confirms that the ‘league values are evident at every game and have hugely helped me in my first season as a referee.’ The nomination continued to explain how the league have installed campaigns around respect which filters through to managers and players.
The league have also been part of a trial with the Berks & Bucks FA with U18 referees being supplied with a Yellow Armband to help them identify themselves as U18 to players, managers/coaches and spectators.
Several members of the league’s Management Committee were present at Wembley to collect their award. Amongst them was Referee Secretary, Natasha Loughrey, who also got a special mention in the leagues nomination.
"Its not just the match day experience, Natasha Loughrey (Referee Secretary) deserves a lot of credit. Appointments are made promptly which again takes away the stress of knowing where you will be. Its a little detail but it makes such a difference. Natasha also works at implementing mentors throughout the league to help a number of young referees develop."
From a safeguarding perspective, as a County FA, we are absolutely delighted that the BCGL have won this award. It recognises the way that the league support referees, particularly those under the age of 18, and instil the respect values throughout the games. County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, Graham Fisher, said:
“Respect and Safeguarding are all about ensuring that young players and referees can enjoy the game in a fun and safe environment. To see the BCGL recognised for doing just that, is really great news.”
More information on the various categories at the Referee Recognition Awards can be found here and a full list of the winners were announced on the FA Refereeing official Twitter account.
For more information regarding the Awards or Refereeing in the region, please contact Berks & Berks FA Referee Development Officer, Sam Myatt, via email.