A new recruitment campaign has been launched by President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill which aims to bolster the number of volunteers involved in refereeing at all levels of the Association.
The ‘Think you can do better’ initiative aims to increase the number of referees officiating at club games throughout Ireland and consequently pushing on to provincial and national level. Inter-county referees will serve as recruitment ambassadors in their own county. Ennis man and inter-county football referee, Rory Hickey is the Clare recruitment officer.
As part of the new campaign, the GAA has produced a recruitment video which is available to view below. Posters have been distributed to clubs to further highlight the drive while adverts will be placed in the programmes of Allianz League and pre-season Provincial competition programmes to attract the attention of spectators.
Speaking at the launch of the new campaign, President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill commented. “I am delighted to launch the Referee Recruitment campaign and thank the National Referee’s Committee for their efforts in this regard. It is fair to say that there is an ongoing requirement for new referees in our counties and this campaign should see an immediate swelling of referee numbers. I look forward to seeing the fruits of these labours as young referees progress through the ranks to eventually take charge of games on the biggest stage”.
Former inter-county referee and Chairman of Coiste na Réiteoirí, Pat McEnaney said “Already a number of counties have plans in place for attracting new referees. The resources we are providing should assist in their drive to increase refereeing numbers. Our new recruits can look forward to a revitalised Club Referee Training Course in February and March next and, with ongoing training and mentoring thereafter we are confident that a considerable number will come through the system and, hopefully, progress to the highest level of our games”.
Furthermore the GAA are aspiring to get former inter-county players to take up refereeing. A Pilot Project is planned whereby four former players (Two hurling/two football) will train as club referees in their counties. They will receive enhanced support, with the ultimate aim, based on their progress, of developing the individuals to inter-county standard. Counties will be asked to nominate retired players for inclusion on this project, and selection will be made from these nominees, to commence their training in February next.
The Clare Referees Administration Committee (CRAC) will be linking in with all the clubs in Clare to distribute posters and regular updates will be posted on Clare GAA’s official website (www.clare.gaa.ie).