Local referees Georgia Ghirardello and Elise Fisher are encouraging Canberrans to join the local football referee community this winter, as the return of football competitions draw near.
Georgia Ghirardello has 13 years of referee experience, having spent two seasons in the Westfield W-League as an assistant referee before stepping into the middle for the first time during the 2019/20 season.
Georiga said she is passionate about refereeing because it has given her a chance to stay in the game.
“I love the football community and I have played and coached before and now refereeing is my bread and butter,” Georgia shared. “I have grown as a person because of refereeing.
“Being able to see how you can positively influence and impact on a game and the people’s lives around you is why refereeing is so important to me.”
Seventeen-year-old cadet referee Elise Fisher is going into her fourth season as an official and encouraged others to pick up the whistle and give refereeing a go.
“What I enjoy about refereeing is the experience you get from it and the life lessons,” Elise said. “You also meet some really amazing people and lifelong friends.
“I would say to people to just stick with it and not to lose your confidence with spectators or those who don’t believe in you. Stay true to yourself and if it’s something you’re interested in, then pursue it.”
Georgia’s advice to anyone looking to become a referee is simple.
“You won’t have any regrets having a go,” she said. “There is so much you can get out of being a referee. No matter your age or experience, I would highly recommend being a referee because it is just a great way to spend your weekend out in the winter sun.”
To encourage more referees to join the local football community, Capital Football will hold introductory courses for Game Leaders and 11-a-side referees, as well as seminars for current officials to help improve their skills.
Capital Football CEO Phil Brown encouraged Canberrans to join the local football community.
“It’s important for Capital Football to invest time and resources into recruiting referees so we can ensure our participants have a better game experience,” Mr Brown said.
“It is a great chance to not only have a go and see what it’s like to referee and help the local community, but also to earn a little bit of money. With 50 percent off the Capital Football registration fee for referees, now is a great time to join the local football community!”