TO be the best, you have to beat the best.
It’s an old sporting saying used time and time again by teams yearning, striving to become the best in their given sport.
To be the best, the Group 10 Referees Association is looking to learn from the best.
Two National Rugby League referees, Phil Haines and Grant Atkins, will be in Bathurst on Saturday, February 9, from 9.30am, running a referee’s training clinic to help boost the skill level of both junior and senior referees ahead of the 2013 season.
Both Haines and Atkins will officiate the NRL trial between the Wests Tigers and the Penrith Panthers the night before at Carrington Park, and have donated their time to help give back to the bush.
Group 10 Referees Association president Nick Lander said it was a perfect opportunity for budding young referees to come out to Carrginton Park, the day after an NRL match, and find out just what it takes to become the best.
“It’s very rare we get a chance like this in the bush,” Lander said.
“To have the calibre of referees such as Phil and Grant coming out to run a clinic in Bathurst, it’s a great way to start the season, especially for those young junior referees we’ve got coming through.”
Haines has refereed 42 first grade NRL games since debuting in the St George Illawarra and Melbourne Storm clash in round 12, 2009.
He refereed 22 top grade games in 2012.
Atkins is one of the game’s up and coming whistle blowers, with the Toyota Cup Grand Final in 2012 atop of his list of accomplishments.
Lander was hopeful junior referees would recognise the rarity of the opportunity and come from all over Group 10 to be part of the clinic, set to begin at 9.30am on February 9.
A question and answer session will be run following the field session and Lander said it would be a good opportunity for senior referees to come along and get a better understanding of what it takes to be an elite rugby league referee.
“Hopefully it provides the association with the perfect springboard for a strong and successful 2013,” he said.
Tickets for the NRL trial in Bathurst are on sale now.