A recently-qualified female referee told us exclusively about her experience of being the only female on a refereeing course.

As a child I never participated in football however I have a younger brother who plays in a grassroots team and we also started to follow a local Championship team.

After watching my brother and attending several matches I became very interested in the game. I was also looking to earn extra money and thought this would be a good opportunity to earn money and develop different skills that could be used once I entered the workplace. Therefore in October 2019 my mum kindly paid for me to attend my referees course.

Before the course I was quite nervous especially not knowing whether there would be any other females. When I first arrived at my course I walked into a room to find out I was the only girl. Being the only female I felt quite intimidated and uncomfortable at first but after getting to know everyone else I felt more comfortable. Although I have now completed the course, I feel as though a female-only course should be offered to women as they would probably feel more comfortable and this may entice more females to become referees knowing that they weren’t going to be the only female.

The course entailed an hour and a half induction evening, a two full-day course at a sports centre and then an hour exam which took place in the evening. In the theory part of the course I looked at the laws of the game and had to watch several videos on what referees did correct and could’ve done better in different scenarios of the game.

On the practical side of the course, I was given simulated games which I had to referee. After taking my exam I was unsure about whether I had passed or not, but two days later, I received an email which told me that I had passed. This made me very proud of myself and I was excited, yet nervous, to referee my first game.