Busy time for men in black as refs dust off their whistles
It’s not just the players in clubs the length and breadth of the province who are prepping for the upcoming season.
The referees and assessors of the Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB), are blowing the dust of their respective whistles and notebooks.
For this dedicated group of volunteers, there is the same drudge of hitting the required fitness levels. Not to mention reviewing and understanding any new laws being introduced for the season ahead.
The upcoming weeks are a very busy time for ARCB. There is an immediate demand from clubs to provide officials for friendlies or early season tournaments.
The Association is also putting the finishing touches to its annual season kick-off workshop for all referees and assessors. New kit has been ordered and now awaits distribution to all members across Connacht.
For those wishing to join ARCB, all the required facilities and facilitators are being lined up for our trial member training day in September.
There is also a new president stepping into the leadership shoes of ARCB. We wish Mossy Moran success in the months ahead. ARCB is very fortunate to have a leader of his experience, enthusiasm and energy at the helm.
We also welcome Sean Gallagher to Connacht as our new referee development officer. Sean is an excellent referee with extensive exposure across national and international competitions.
At the same time we bid a sad farewell to Peter Fitzgibbon, who filled this role for the past few years. His promotion within IRFU ranks is well deserved. He has left behind him a significant legacy of referee development in Connacht.
Peter is not the only person to move on to pastures new. Two of our referees are moving location due to work commitments and we also send them our best wishes.
Michael Forestal heads to Dublin and Daniel Collins is off to London. No doubt the respective referee associations in their new localities will welcome them with open arms.
That is one of the many trappings of being a rugby referee: it is a passport that opens doors and connects you with new people from all over the rugby world.
There is a need to attract new folk to join our ranks. Having provided officials to almost 1500 games last season, it is expected there will be more competitive club games to serve in Connacht across 2015/16.
We would love to hear from you if have an interest in developing rugby in the province.
The training, on-going coaching and support provided is the envy of some of our provincial neighbours.
ARCB is committed to being the best referee association in Ireland.
Our new Trial Member workshop takes place in Galway on September 12.
If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 086 1735096.
You’re sure to receive a warm welcome from all in ARCB.