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Good call: Community referees shine in finals

Our community rugby league match officials should be congratulated for doing a really good job in local finals over the past month or so.

It's really pleasing to see these performances reflecting the work that our associations and our development staff are doing in community rugby league.

Our associations are engaging with their members like never before and developing their members in conjunction with the support of our performance and development coordinator John Topp.

A lot of the on-field development has been achieved through the carnival system, with match officials going back to community level as better referees, for many of them adding to the skills they've gained from being involved in regional hubs and junior statewide competitions.

Engagement has been a real focus from the top down and it has been hugely beneficial for our members across the state.

With everyone being time poor, there's been a big shift towards make sure we have more resources online to support the contact time we get at training sessions.

Bridie Prendergast refereeing the Toowoomba women's grand final. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL
Bridie Prendergast refereeing the Toowoomba women's grand final. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL

The increased efforts have undoubtedly lifted the atmosphere at all of our local associations, right up to our high performance unit.

While finals series are over, many of our community referees officiating the under 6 to under 12 age groups will move into facilitating carnivals such as the Gordan Tallis Cup, Tom Tassell Trophy and Junior Murri Carnival.

For our senior community referees, there's more opportunities coming up at the 2023 Queensland Pacific Island Cultural Carnival at the end of October.

We're also preparing to send three officials to the Solomon Islands in November to referee at the Pacific Games.

These opportunities following the club season are so important for young referees to earn more and develop their skills with the help of specialised coaching. 

We recently had a number of our coaches make themselves available to pass on their knowledge at the Queensland Representative School Sport 11-12 years Girls State Championships in Townsville, which is great to see at what is our entry level referee development opportunity.

Many senior grade match officials started their journey at this carnival, including Belinda Sharpe, who refereed her first NRL match recently.

This week a group of 15 community rugby league match officials will also be receiving a valuable experience during grand final week in Sydney, mixing with some of their counterparts from across the nation and those at the top level of the game.

Main image: Michael Inman officiating the Toowoomba A grade grand final. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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