During the 2022/23 season, we have been under consultation to further develop a new initiative to support the u18 Referees in our county. Our ultimate goal was to deliver an initiative that had a positive impact on the footballing experience of our Young Referees, making them feel supported, encouraged, safe and valued.
Following feedback we have decided to introduce The Purple Shirt for all of our u18 Referees for the coming season. The idea is make the Referees more visual and easily identifiable as being u18……’Youth’ referees. They should be treated with care and respect, understanding that they are at the beginning of their referee journey and are still learning and developing their skills. We hope that this small initiative will have a positive impact on the match day experience for not only the referees, but for managers, coaches and supporters too.
We ask and hope that every team, player, coach, volunteer and spectator will show a unity in support for The Purple Shirt, helping the progression, development, enjoyment and experience of all u18 referees. Undoubtedly mistakes will happen but with positive reinforcement, encouragement and praise, this will help to upskill our referees to not only perform at their best but to encourage them to remain on the ‘Referee Progression Pathway’. These ‘Youth Referees’ are the future and it’s vitally important we provide the support they need to stay in refereeing and progress! We need to support every referee for the better of the game.
This initiative has been jointly funded in association with the kind support of the Huntingdonshire Referees Association.