'I loved every game I was involved in'
What a season it has been in Connacht? This is not another exaltation of Pat Lam's green giants.
There has been a lot of other growth happening within the green roots of the province. The Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB), has once again built upon its successes from previous seasons and can look back over the months with renewed satisfaction.
Under the leadership of outgoing president Tom 'Mossy' Moran, all of our members can testify to a job well done these past months.
Our members have also been recognised recently at the Connacht Rugby Awards. Congratulations to Jason Cairns (Referee of the Year), also to John Davey and Cian de Buitlear on their respective awards.
The real worth of an association can be measured by the experiences of those joining the ranks for the first time. In terms of summing up the value add of ARCB, what better way than to let one of our new members do the talking?
Shane Gaughan came through our Trial Member training programme at the outset of this season.
"I got involved in refereeing because my dad, Peter, had been doing it for the past six years. We'd be always talking about laws during matches and he said why don't I give it a go, and if I liked it, all well and good, and if I didn't, at least I gave it a go.
"I did give it a go this year and honestly loved every game I've been involved in! I love the game of rugby and wanted to stay involved so refereeing was the best option for me.
"The training courses with Sean Gallagher were very enjoyable and easy to follow.
"I would recommend refereeing to anyone who wants to stay involved in the game but doesn't feel like they're up for playing it any more. Being a rugby referee is a great way to meet new people and see places around the province which you would never go to otherwise."
For those interested in becoming a referee and attending our new course in early September, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 086 1735096 or visit www.arcb.ie.
Best wishes to our incoming President for next season, Louis Cunningham.