The PGMOL Experiential Learning programme provides referees, especially those from historically underrepresented communities, with the opportunity to watch a professional game official take charge of a fixture and understand the observation process at that level.
Earlier this February, Cornish referee Aimee Green became the county’s first beneficiary of the programme this season. She was invited to attend Torquay United vs Barnet in the National League where she observed the refereeing team in action and garnered an insight into life as a pro referee.
“I would definitely recommend this programme to others” said Aimee. “It was a great opportunity to ask lots of questions, observe officials at a higher standard and have the opportunity to discuss things with someone with great knowledge of the game."
The programme has three intended outcomes:
1. Match officials are enthused to progress their refereeing career further through watching officials operate in the professional game
2. Match officials and observers are given the opportunity to form and share experiences with each other
3. Match officials are given a greater insight into the processes observers undertake when observing officials
Aimee has only been refereeing since the beginning of the season when, unable to continue playing due to injury, she picked up a whistle as a means of staying in the game. She outlines what she learned from the experience at Plainmoor: “I learnt how observations are carried out for referees at this level. I was kindly offered to listen to the pre-match which has helped me learn and develop the skills needed when working within a team. It was also really good to see how the referee applied himself to the game and the respect he had from both teams.”
The programme has also encouraged her to continue making progress as a referee. “Going to this game has certainly made me want to continue with my career, I am really keen to progress through the women’s pathway and watching games at this level has definitely made me want to improve my skills and knowledge.”
Aimee is the first local official to benefit from the 2022/23 programme, but she will not be the last. Three more Cornish referees are set to shadow officials at professional games over the next few months.
Referee Development Officer Lee Swabey: “This program allows us to identify referees with the potential to progress in refereeing and give them a taster of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. We are glad that Aimee enjoyed the day and even more pleased that it has given her that extra drive to pursue a career in refereeing.”
If you are interested in beginning your refereeing journey, why not check out our upcoming referee courses? Aimee Green will be in attendance at our next event, for women and girls only, so come along and take advantage of her knowledge and experience!