Jordon Reinke (Tieri), Joe Pratt (Emerald), Jamie Rogers (Emerald), Olivia Hamilton (Blackwater), Jade O’Brien (Blackwater) and Leatitia Perkins (Tieri).
Jordon Reinke (Tieri), Joe Pratt (Emerald), Jamie Rogers (Emerald), Olivia Hamilton (Blackwater), Jade O’Brien (Blackwater) and Leatitia Perkins (Tieri).

Junior refs making a stand in the middle

IT takes some guts to stand out in the middle with a whistle and tell others what they can and can’t do.

Even more so if you’re a teenager.

But for these budding referees it comes with the territory and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

For Tieri schoolgirl Leatitia Perkins the chance to challenge the boys at their own game was a prospect she couldn’t turn down.

“The girls don’t have much opportunity to play so I thought I might as well ref,” she said.

He’s still only a junior himself but already Jamie Rogers from Emerald has a level-head beyond his age.

He regularly adjudicates the matches of his school-mates in the under-18 Central Highlands junior league and more often than not steps up to run the line for weekend A-grade fixtures. And the reward? A cool $70 pay cheque for first-grade. Not bad for a few hours work in a job he loves doing.

With a refereeing experience ranging from one to four years, there is plenty of help for those learning the ropes.

On Friday the junior officials received the tick of approval by the region’s referee development representative Steve Hamilton, who was in Emerald to oversee the referees during competition at the Under-10 Steve Bell Challenge.

“I’ve had a look and they’re all brilliant which means I can now deem them competent and sign them off as fully-fledged level one referees,” Hamilton said. “It’s a good sign but we don’t have enough (referees) and could always do with more.”


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