The day after the dust had settled from the Aviva Premiership Final, marked an important date in the Young Match Official Programme calendar, the inaugural Young Match Official Recognition Event at Twickenham.
The day involved Young Match Officials from across England coming together to share their experiences of being a YMO and some of the challenges and successes they have faced while refereeing. There were a wide variety of activities from workshops to a guest speaker, all aimed at recognising the hard work and achievements of YMOs throughout England.
Representing NLD were YMO Programme Lead James Phillips, NLD Referees Society Lead Andy Smith and then two Young Match Officials, Jamie Rudd (Melbourne RFC) & Sam Yates (Scunthorpe RFC).
The workshops for the day were based around YMOs sharing their experiences of the programme, the big successes of the programme and the areas that can be improved in the future to make sure the programme was working in the best way possible for aspiring young referees. The workshops allowed YMOs to share their views on the programme and shape the future of YMO development and training in the future.
The guest speaker for the day was Craig Maxwell-Keys a young referee who is currently refereeing in the premiership. He gave the YMOs a key insight into the life of a professional referee as well as sharing some of his experiences on the way to the top of the English game. Craig was the 4th official for the England vs Barbarians game that day and provided YMOs with an insight into how professional referees prepare for the game, both before and on the day.
After the workshop and the guest speaker, the YMOs were invited to watch the England vs Barbarians game.
James commented; ‘The day was a great success and it was brilliant to see so many YMO’s sharing their positive experiences of the programme and being rewarded for all of their hard work.’
If you want to get involved with the NLD Young Match Officials programme please contact the YMO Programme lead James Phillips.
Pictured from left to right: Sam Yates, James Phillips, Andy Smith