Scottish Women’s Football is to fund new opportunities for women to train as referees with recruitment partner s1jobs.
The Scottish FA Referee Operations department is committed to expanding its number of women referees with female-only in-person training and online courses in refereeing, and this will now be supported by additional funding to remove the cost of registering for courses and referee kit.
Announced as part of Women and Girls in Sport Week 2022, the funding received through SWF’s partnership with s1jobs will support up to 50 women who are committed to helping grow the women’s and girl’s game in Scotland gain the qualifications required to become referees.
It is thought current players in SWF leagues and others could quickly get to a point where they could be an assistant referee in the SWF Championship and SWF League One, with the ambition to rise quickly through the ranks and officiate in some of the top women’s games across Scotland and beyond.
Commenting, Scottish FA Head of Referee Operations Crawford Allan said: “We are committed to growing the number of referees with women with good knowledge of the game, through our female-only training sessions and mentoring. This initiative with Scottish Women’s Football and s1jobs will help remove some of the financial barriers that prevent some women getting involved.”
Scottish Women’s Football CEO Aileen Campbell said: “Thanks to funding from our recruitment partners s1jobs, we can join the Scottish FA in providing opportunities for women to build a career in refereeing, increasing the visibility of women in football and also tackling the shortages of referees in our grassroots game.
“Women’s Football is experiencing massive growth, and having women visible in the officiating of matches will help us expand that capacity and provide a new generation of role models. It is also important that as we work hard to grow the numbers of players on the pitch, that we ensure the infrastructure to support that growth is also there.”
Scottish FA and FIFA referee Lorraine Watson, who officiated at the Women’s European Championships in England this summer, said: “Refereeing is enormously rewarding and has opened so many doors for me. I’m delighted that more opportunities for women to become referees are being opened thanks to this partnership. The more visibility and gametime we have, the more respect and opportunities will arise.”
Gavin Mochan, managing director at s1jobs said: “s1jobs is proud to play a role in providing new opportunities to support women into high profile careers, and this initiative will enable women to reach their ambitions in football, as well as help meet the ambitions of the SFA and SWF to have more women at the top of the game.”
Interested women are being encouraged to register their interest via this online form