Coleg Llandrillo sport students recently trained to be rugby referees ready to officiate at Urdd tournaments.
Learners completed their Referee in Education course with Sean Brickell from the Welsh Rugby Union.
Sean trained students from the Performance & Excellence and Sport & Exercise Science courses, teaching them how to coach and referee different age groups.
The course was paid for by Urdd Gobaith Cymru, as the students will now be refereeing the youth organisation’s Primary School Rugby Festivals in Llanrwst on February 1 and Ruthin on February 6.
Ieuan Jones, who is studying Level 3 Sport (Performance and Excellence), said: “I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve learned new skills - it’s not just the coaching aspect, it can give you other skills like leadership.
“We’ve been doing sports coaching for teaching all age groups. Of course different age groups have different skills, so we’ve got to learn what applies to each age group, as well as how to keep children safe.”
Sean Brickell, of the WRU referees department, said: “I’ve done quite a few courses in North Wales now and they’re always receptive groups.
“It’s about getting these older students to referee the younger children, because often they can relate to children better than older adults can, and the children appreciate them refereeing as well.
“Some of these students will come into refereeing and give it a good go. They’re all players - I’m an ex-player myself and nothing beats playing - but refereeing can be an option to stay in the game should they pick up an injury, or if they’re finding playing in a team environment is too demanding on them. So it just gives them another option really.
“It’s just keeping the focus very basic, not trying to get too technical because they’ll be refereeing young children. It’s just giving them the basic understanding of simple refereeing so they can safely facilitate a game of rugby. Very importantly the kids all enjoy it, and the referees enjoy it.”
Ollie Coles, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai / WRU Rugby Engagement Officer, said: “We are very grateful to the Urdd for providing the opportunity for 18 of our learners to be trained up as referees and further to have the chance to use these skills in the wider community.
“A key part of our strategy at the college is to provide learners with both the skills and qualifications they will need post-graduation, and practical experience working in these environments. Well done all.”
Want to study sport with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai? Click here to find out more about our courses, or go to www.gllm.ac.uk/courses/sport-and-outdoor-education