by Damian Eames (PRO, Association of Referees Connacht Branch)
As another season has kicked off, the ARCB (Association of Referees Connacht Branch) have been busy getting our referees and assessors ready for the hundreds of games that lie ahead. Last month’s season kick-off event was well attended in Galway by our members. It was a busy session as there were a host of new global trial Laws that required explanation.
Our new President for the season, Shane McElwee, expertly set the scene for everyone. He was supported by our new Chairperson of the referee selection committee, Christy O’Sullivan. Not for the first time, we are innovating the way we identify members’ availability to cover games across the province.
The lifeblood of any volunteer association is determined by how we attract and support new members. Our dedicated IRFU Referee Development Officer, Sean Gallagher, held a new trial member workshop on Sunday, September 10, in Galway with a number of new recruits added to our ranks. We are fortunate to have a person of Sean’s calibre at our full-time disposal. Having successfully refereed on the international Sevens and PRO14 circuit, his knowledge and application is second to none.
Our new members are nurtured through their first touch judge and referee appointments. It is great to have John Carrig keeping a watchful eye on our new recruits, ably supported by Mark Fitzgerald who ensures we have assessors coaching them as well.
There are many benefits to becoming a member of ARCB. It keeps you involved in the game and it keeps the game alive. We have dedicated monthly workshops, social outings and access to PRO14 and international tickets. ARCB is a foundation that allows Connacht’s grassroots to flourish into green shirts.
If you are interested in rugby refereeing, please email [email protected].