Page 4 - Referees

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ay I start by wishing you all a
‘Happy New Year’ and I hope that
2012 will be an enjoyable,
healthy and successful year for you and
all those who are important to you.
This is our first e-magazine; budget
constraints mean we can only afford two
hard copies per season but we felt it was
important to have a third and an electronic
version was proposed, something which
many of the more technologically advanced
of you have been suggesting for quite some
time! I hope you enjoy reading it.
The end of 2011 was darkened by the tragic
death of Gary Speed. Around the same time,
a top division referee in Germany and a
second division assistant referee in Belgium
both attempted to take their lives on the day
of a match. Both were saved by the concern
and quick thinking of their colleagues.
It is not for us to delve into or speculate
about what drove these three men to
contemplate, let alone enact, such a drastic
step but it brought into focus the demands
and pressures everyone faces these days, in
football and in the wider world.
Such events remind us of the importance
of ‘looking after and looking out for’ other
people. At a national level, The FA and the
RA are mindful of their role in supporting
all those involved in the game in a variety
of ways. Often, this is by putting in place
structures, schemes and regulations/
protocols but these need to be enacted on a
local and individual level.
When asked by people “What does the
RA do that The FA can’t?” one of the
clearest answers is that it provides, at a
local level, friendship, comradeship and
support. This is especially important when
times are tough. Through your local RA
society or branch you will get to know people
who have probably experienced every
unpleasantness and challenge that you will
face and they will be able to support and
advise you. They UNDERSTAND and they
are there to HELP.
However, this support systemmust work
two ways. We know that people are not
very good at asking for help or support. It is
therefore incumbent upon us all to have our
eyes and ears a little more open and if we
hear or even suspect that someone is having
difficulties then we should see what can be
done to help.
Everyone rallies round in a crisis or a tragedy
but it would be so much better if that energy
could be used to prevent the crisis or the
tragedy in the first place.
Please make it your (belated) New Year’s
resolution to be more aware and more
sensitive of others and where you know
someone has had difficulties, offer to help.
Have a wonderful 2012 and please help make
it a ‘caring’ year in the refereeing world.
David Elleray
Chairman, FA Referees’ Committee
President, Referees’ Association