North Riding FA would like to congratulate and send best wishes to its Female Referee Ambassador, Rebecca Welch, who will become the first woman to referee a men’s match in the English Football League when she takes charge of Harrogate Town’s home fixture with Port Vale on Monday.
As a County FA we are absolutely delighted for Rebecca and incredibly proud of her amazing achievement.
Speaking earlier in the week to The Guardian, Rebecca described the appointment as her “biggest achievement”.
“I’m really excited and this is what I’ve been working towards,” she said. “In the last 10 years I’ve put a lot of hard work and commitment in and I’ve reaped the rewards from that by getting promoted. To be given this opportunity to work in the EFL is amazing for me.”
“I’d never seen myself as a trailblazer until the last year, where I’ve started to accept it because I think it’s important that people who are fortunate enough to be in my position or similar can show people that this can be done,” she said. “I do think it’s important to show that women who are in the top 1% of their category can proceed to the next level so it definitely makes others down the pyramid look up and know that they can achieve the same.”
Speaking to North Riding FA, Rebecca added: “I’m really enjoying my role as Female Refereeing Ambassador here at North Riding County FA, and supporting the development of female refereeing. It’s great to see the increase of female referees within the County & engagement continuing to grow.
“There really is no better time to take up the whistle with the fantastic opportunities available within the women’s game and off field support that is in place, it’s really exciting.”
Ross Joyce, Referee Development Manager & EFL Referee, is delighted with Rebecca’s appointment.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Rebecca, as I know just how hard she has worked both on and off the field over the years to achieve this well-earned appointment.
“Rebecca supports myself and the Referee Development Team here at North Riding County FA unbelievably well, putting together content and engaging with our female referees. She always has a positive outlook and ensures our referees are well looked after.”
Everybody at North Riding County FA sends their best wishes to Rebecca ahead of Monday. We are all very proud of you!
North Riding County FA now have record number of female referees registered; however, moving into the summer we are looking to further increase and grow our female referee workforce.
If you have been inspired by Rebecca’s appointment and would like further information on our FA Referee Courses, please complete the below form;
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