A NRL initiative believes former defense personnel have the right skillset to handle the pressure of refereeing a game of rugby league.
The camp called "Go West", has been designed as part of the NRL Officiating program "Battlefields to Footy Fields" (B2F) and with joint funding from the QRL Northern Region, is stopping in at Hughenden, Richmond, Julia Creek, Cloncurry and Mount Isa from Sunday November 24 to 30.
During their stay in each community, a League Tag community gala night will be played with all members of that community being invited to come down and try the game at no cost.
NRL Referee Development Officer for North Queensland, Michael Inman, said it was a perfect opportunity to have the match officials receive learning while integrating back with the local community.
"The Battlefields to Footy Fields program is an ideal vehicle to have our former Defence Force personnel integrate back in the community with the League Tag community days, while receiving on the spot training referee training from our referee educators," Mr Inman said.
Mr Inman said during the camp each of the participants would receive further education on their own officiating pathway, along with accompanying school visitations during the day.
Local club involvement has been key to this, with Hughenden Bulls club president Vicki Horton jumping on board straight away.
"Having this camp come through our region has given us an ability to engage with our community outside the normal Rugby League season," Ms Horton said.
Mr Inman said the match officials would be exposed to a higher level of referee education material during the week with leanings about general officiating principals being taught.
"Most of these match officials have been only officiating for a couple of months, and we see this an opportunity to drill down further into their roles as match officials while giving them a platform to work into communities" he said.
"Starting from Townsville and finishing as part of the North West Referees presentation night we hope to expose and help our B2F match officials to different aspects of the refereeing community."
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