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Women referees leading the way; Refereeing.

THE first meeting of the North-east Women's Referee Development Group took place at Durham County FA earlier this month, with some of the region's brightest female officials in attendance.

Members of the Durham, North Riding and Northumberland FA's gathered for the group, which aims to nurture and develop the talent of women referees and ensure they take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

A team of three female referee coaches with over 40 years of experience between them act as mentors for the referee group members. These include; Gillian Armstrong from Northumberland FA, Lynn Brown from North Riding FA and Helen Conley from Durham FA.

Helen, who is women's referee development co-coordinator for the North-east said: "I am delighted to see so many referees join the development group and participate in the specialised events organised.

"The North-east is thriving with the number of women officials and is a real flagship, leading the way in producing quality referees at all levels of the game.

"The group will continue to grow from strength to strength and it is hoped that this will encourage other women to get involved in refereeing."

Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to network, gain a better understanding of the promotion pathway through the women's game and took advantage of an interactive session on the topic of foul recognition.

Guest speaker for the evening was level three and FIFA assistant referee Jane Simms, who spoke about her career progressing up the refereeing ladder and her European appointments.

There was also the opportunity to ask questions and receive advice from Jane and the team of coaches and RDOs in attendance.

Ross Joyce, North Riding County FA referee development officer, said: "It was a fantastic evening to be involved with and particularly pleasing to see a number of our up and coming female referees in attendance. I have no doubt that in the room we had a future FIFA assistant referee; such is the opportunity available within the ever growing women's game".

If you are interested in becoming a referee, contact Ross Joyce on 01642 717775 or email
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2013
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