In the first of a series of features on Liverpool FA’s registered Referees, we spoke with one of our young female Referees to learn about her experience to date and aspirations for the future.
"I started refereeing after my coach at Rainhill United asked us if anyone fancied doing the course. I was just 14 at the time so decided it was something I would like to try. I loved the course and subsequently became the first female referee from Rainhill United in March 2020. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get much experience straight away due to the pandemic and lockdown, but, as soon as I could, I began to referee as many matches as I could when I wasn’t playing for the U16s at Rainhill United.
"This is now my first full season and I referee on both Saturday and Sundays in two Liverpool FA sanctioned leagues. I have also refereed many times, as well as running the line, at Everton and Liverpool FC Academies. I am now concentrating on doing under 11s, 12s and 13s this season, as I spent most of the past summer doing U10s. I love teaching the children and love seeing them do well. The best thing about being a referee is looking at the game from a different point of view and the learning opportunities it provides. Refereeing gives me great experience and it is very enjoyable to referee all the different age groups. I also love running the line as it is a lot of fun and allows me to learn from other, more experienced referees.
"In addition to refereeing, I am a brown belt in mixed martial arts and am a junior instructor teaching younger children. I have been doing martial arts since I was five years old. I think my mixed martial arts experience and instructing children has really helped me with my refereeing.
"Unfortunately, I have been on the receiving end of some abuse from parents, children and sometimes coaches – although the majority of people have been incredibly supportive and positive. When I have received this abuse, it has made me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable as I am only young myself and still at the very start of my learning. Incidents like this could have a major impact on my performance and confidence as a referee.
"I would love to continue gaining as much experience as I can and, , I would like the opportunity to develop my skills further and perhaps referee older children.
"Eventually, I would like to progress up the levels and one day become the next female referee in the higher divisions - perhaps even the Premier League."
Keep an eye out on our channels and website for more stories from Liverpool referees as part of the Respect the Ref campaign.
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