Dear Friends, colleagues, past, present and future members of York Referees’ Association.
Well, what strange times we have endured these past few months. Just when we were looking forward to plum appointments, promotions and otherwise enjoying our Football Refereeing in all its forms, football was pulled out from under our feet.
However, there is some light at the end of the long tunnel and although watching professional football in empty stadiums barely compensates, it nevertheless helps to reignite our love and enthusiasm for the game.
I am optimistic that at local level, we can look forward to resuming and ‘getting on with the game, from September.
North Riding County FA are making preparations for the re commencement of Football in our area, the Club and Referee Registration process is now open and the Leagues can affiliate from 13th July. The York Minster Engineering League Premier League will hopefully kick-off on Saturday 8th August with the other York Leagues planning to commence on the weekend of 5/6th September.
Here at York RA, we have kept abreast of developments within the National RA and our own dedicated Committee have met (Via Zoom) to prepare for next season and to look after all our best interests.
We have made a provisional date to hold our 1st Meeting of the new Season on Thursday 3rd September 2020 at the usual venue of the York Hospital Club (put that date in your diary now). York NHS Social Club, Whitecross Road, YO31 8JR
If there are still social distancing rules to follow then we can accommodate that as the Club has ample space and facilities to do so.
Confirmation of that meeting will be published later but we intend to hold the Annual General Meeting as a first agenda item, keeping the time down to a minimum, followed by a key guest speaker from within the professional game.
In relation to the AGM, should anyone wish to stand on the Committee for next season then please either let me know personally or, turn up at the meeting and put yourself forward.
Due to the Codiv 19 pandemic, as our season ended prematurely, we had no opportunity to hold an AGM, the Annual Dinner or make presentation to our successful Match Officials.
We are in the process of recognising your past achievements and suitable mementoes will be presented at a future meeting.
Our Annual Dinner, which is a fantastic social occasion, was clearly cancelled at short notice but we have re booked for next season so put Friday 21st May 2021 into your diary as an event not to be missed.
FA Premier League Referee Andy Madley was to be our guest speaker at that event and he is still waiting in the wings for a future invite, such is our respect our Association holds within the Professional game.
Now, we need to get back to the real business of supporting you, our York & District based Referees, Observers, Mentors and supporters of all things Refereeing so, one of the initiatives for this coming season will be a significant reduction in our annual membership fees.
For full adult members, the fee for 2020/21 will be £15 if paid up before the end of October. After that the fee will increase to £20. That is a reduction of £8 & £3 respectively so please take advantage of this offer. For those of you who pay annually via direct debit, fear not the necessary arrangements have been made for the appropriate deduction.
Of course, 1st Year Referees and New Members signing up for the first time are welcome free of charge and for those members under 18, the membership fee is £6 only.
“What do I get for my Fifteen Quid?” you may ask. Well, you become a member of the National RA with all the benefits which they afford, for example, inclusion on the RA Insurance Policy and numerous discounts on items of Referee equipment and various other benefits which are well advertised on the National RA Website www.the-ra.org In addition to that, you will be supported by the National RA should you require the services of a suitably qualified professional to represent you in any Refereeing matter that you may become involved.
Locally, you join a very well established and respected Association where we provide a social aspect to our in house training and development. You only have to trawl back through past meetings to see that the quality of guest speakers are second to none. From Martin Atkinson to Jon Moss, Andy Halliday (VAR Expert), Gary Kellett (Senior Match Observer), Liam Slack (PGMOL Sports scientist), Andy Madley, Mark Haywood and Paul Tierney to name but a few. Where else can you listen and learn from the experiences of these guys whilst at the same time being entertained.
We are recognised as being one of the top 10 Local Referee Associations in the Country and we intend to enhance that profile but, can only do so with your support.
All our top professional Match officials and I mean, all of them, joined there local RA at the start of their careers and ALL of them are still members today.
Just think what you could achieve when in the company of our Nation’s best, in a safe and enjoyable environment……worth the effort I can tell you.
For our younger Match officials, can I offer my encouragement for you to come along, in the knowledge that you are safe and will benefit from the experience of listening to others, who have all gone through the same processes and climbed the same ladders as you are doing right now.
I would encourage parents or adult family members to support their young Referee by also coming along to our meetings and can tell you that on our Committee we have an appointed Welfare officer who is held in very high regard within the North Riding County FA safeguarding community.
We welcome all those involved in Refereeing, whether you blow a whistle, hold a flag, work as an administrator, support our Referees through the mentoring or observing schemes or are simply a retired official in some Refereeing capacity who is able and would enjoy passing on valuable experience.
This message is designed to ignite your enthusiasm for the new season. Writing it has certainly set my pulse racing again and I look forward to meeting and teaming up with you all in the very near future.
Should you or the parents of young Referees have any queries, concerns or questions then please do not hesitate to contact me direct or any member of our Committee. My details are appended below and Committee details are included on our website www.yorkreferee.co.uk/
We will endeavour to keep you abreast of developments but for now, clean the boots, oil the whistle, iron the flag, sharpen the pencil, get fit and stay safe.
With my very Best Wishes.
Chairman, York RA
(H) 01653 648759
(M) 07789 005327