BARKSTON ASH REFEREES SOCIETY

 

Chairman’s Report 2015-16

 

I am pleased to report another year of continued progress, which was rounded off by the eagerly awaited confirmation of the Gold QUEST award, which we will celebrate next week.

 

Our achievement speaks highly of the focus and commitment of so many members in helping turn BARA around from the position we were 6 or 7 years ago and everyone is rightly very proud of the award and of being the first in the country to achieve it; we hope to inspire others to follow our lead.

 

It was very pleasing to see our membership number increase again, but we can now demonstrate that we are attracting and retaining new referees, male and female, of all ages and helping those referees through the important early months and years of their development.  Furthermore, because those referees are spreading word about the benefits they are enjoying, we are receiving enquiries about membership from other new referees.

 

While the focus on young referees remains important for us, the mix of individuals and range of experiences are one of our key strengths, and the willingness of our members to help and support each other, whether through the mentoring scheme, buddying, or simply being there for advice when needed.

 

We are keen to make sure activities such as fitness training, our provision of officials for local clubs (senior and junior), our work with the Brayton Belles, Northern U-19 Alliance and Lancashire League and our growing partnership with North Yorkshire Girls Centre of Excellence, provide opportunities for all members to work with each other in football environments that provide the appropriate level of stretch and challenge for all.  Unfortunately, our game-watch attempts have been thwarted by the wet weather throughout the winter, which has challenged everyone’s fixture lists.

 

I can again report that our members represented us impeccably on Barkston Ash District FA Finals and we have seen some excellent appointments again this year.  We will be well represented in West Riding County FA Cup Finals, with some of our younger members earning particular recognition on the back of some excellent performances during the season.

 

Our members again enjoyed the experience of summer tournaments.  Those attending the Iber Cup in Marbella found the experience hugely beneficial, our team again in Dubai had another amazing experience, while our reputation in the UK was again enhanced as we had 12 referees at the English International Supercup in Manchester, including our German colleague Joscha Csuti,

 

We anticipate an increased attendance at the RA Conference this year, following its move back to Hinckley; this is an event I would very much recommend to young referees in particular, I am sure they will find it inspirational.

 

In addition to a fixture backlog which will keep us all busy, we hope to be able to take a good number of referees to a UK tournament in the summer again, and while we are not taking a team to a European tournament this year, we hope to do so again in 2017.  Meanwhile, 4 referees are travelling to Dubai, though as individuals, rather than BARA, a decision driven by the tournament company.

 

As always, we should ask John to express our gratitude to the staff and governors of Hambleton School, who allow us to use the school for our meetings and training sessions.  We have again made a donation to the pupils fund and as always, I would ask that we recognise their generosity by remaining respectful to the venue and leaving it tidy.

 

 

IAN SMELLIE

Chairman          13th March 2016

Barkston Ash Referees' Association QUEST GOLD