Junior Referee Academy

During the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Otago Touch wanted to keep kids in Sport but also work within the COVID-19 guidelines.

One of the challenges was that many of our Youth players would come down to the Kensington Oval after School because it was impractical for them to go home and return at a later time for their game at 5.15pm.

This was a challenge because we had to consider strict social distancing protocols, which meant the players either had to roam the streets of Dunedin or stay within the School grounds.

So in order to meet the guidelines, we suggested that these students come down and volunteer to referee the younger age groups which meant they could socially distance but still be involved.

This was a success and Otago Touch realised there was an appetite for our Youth players to carry on giving back once the social distancing restrictions had been lifted.

The Racing Board and Bendigo Valley Sport and Charity Foundation came on board for us to provide a singlet for each referee to wear to make them feel part of a group and to also help them stand out on the field as the Referee.

We have employed two trainers who give the referee's a quick training session before the first game starts and then monitors and mentors the referee's while the referee games at 3.45 and 4.15pm.

​​​​​​​At the end of the term each refere who has registered and participated in the programme will receive a participation certificate in recognition of their volunteer hours as a Junior academy referee.

Check out your local Touch Module under the 'Where to play Touch' tab to register for the Academy in your area.