Referees perform a vital role in the game, and with the growth in the popularity of football, particularly for women and children, the demand for match officials is increasing. The Football Association estimates that in some areas of the country, 20 per cent of games are played without a qualified match official. The FA National Game Strategy goal is to recruit 8,000 new referees by 2012 as well as retain the existing 26,000 officials to ensure that in future, every game has a qualified official who is receiving regular training and support from an FA mentor programme and helpline. The first stage involved in becoming a referee is to register with your local County Football Association (RAF FA) and the second stage is to attend a basic Referees Course. The RAF FA Referees Committee run a number of basic Referees Courses throughout the year. For more information and/or for an application form please contact Sheila Haining on 95461 5559 / 01993 895559 or email BZN-RAFFADevAsst@mod.uk

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