Rugby union referee numbers given a boost in central west

ENCOURAGED: Central West Rugby Union chief executive officer Peter Veenstra is encouraged by the number of people attending last week's referee training course.

ENCOURAGED: Central West Rugby Union chief executive officer Peter Veenstra is encouraged by the number of people attending last week's referee training course.

CENTRAL West Rugby Union’s referee shortage has been somewhat alleviated after last week’s Referee Training Course at Endeavour Oval.

Almost 100 potential referees attended the information session last Wednesday, led by former Super 15 and international and now Central West referee Nathan Pearce and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) representative Mark DeBrincat.

“It was a huge night, we had guys come from as far as Coolah,” Central West chief executive officer Peter Veenstra said.

“There were plenty of GrainCorp Cup team representatives there as well, which was very encouraging.

“The point of the night was to be able to get clubs to a point where they can supply referees if there is ever a CTA (club to appoint) situation. While the night was pretty basic with what we went through, a lot of clubs now have people they can call on if need be.”

Veenstra said the seminar was based on discussion supplemented by video, and went through the 2014 ARU game management guidelines, and several other documents specific to referees.

“We went through the game management guidelines quite thoroughly,” Veenstra explained.

“They change each year based on what the ARU wants referees to focus on during that season. 

“These guys are new to it, they are beginner referees there is no doubt about that. But now they will have a better grasp on the rules, and are somewhat qualified to take games if need be.”

Veenstra said one of the most encouraging aspects was seeing a number of former and current players at the night, including several colts age players.

“Seeing a lot of older teenagers there definitely pleased me, they are the people we’re trying to get involved in refereeing,” he said.

“These guys now have the chance to learn by doing, and can always call on the referee’s association to watch their games and help them improve.”

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