The initiative, which involved 28 newly–qualified match officials, was driven by Warwick School Director of Rugby, Tom Pierce after his training on the RFU’s Teacher Developer course and subsequent accreditation as an England Rugby Developer. RFU Match Official Development Officer, John Widdowson supported Tom in liaising with Warwickshire Referees Society, whose member Peter Tolan as well as being an educator, co–ordinates the county’s young whistlers, and the local Rugby Development Officers Matt Wooldridge and Luke Green.
Following the course in September, the school decided to use the Young Match Officials programme to support match officiating at the school, with a presentation of referee shirts this month (October) by Match Official Development Manager Michael Patz at morning assembly.
Said John Widdowson: “This effort by Warwick School, working with the RFU and the Warwickshire Referee Society, has benefited not just the school but the local rugby community and everyone involved. It’s an excellent example of how working in partnership brings gains all round and could be emulated by schools, colleges and universities across the country, whose young officials could also help to support the development in the wider rugby community.”
For more information on Young Match Officials click here.