As we celebrate Female Football Week, Football Queensland has launched the Women’s Football Champions initiative to shine a light on the unsung community heroes who have gone above and beyond for women and girls in our game.
Regardless of age, gender or location, the Women’s Football Champions are all recognised as doing great things to support, develop and deliver opportunities for women and girls within our state’s footballing family.
Each chosen individual is being profiled on Football Queensland’s website and social media channels, and will be invited to attend a special event in relation to the centenary season of women’s football in Queensland.
Our third Women’s Football Champion is Lynda Arkinstall from Brisbane.
Lynda is a highly accomplished referee assessor, coach and mentor who officiated at national level for many years after injury forced her to stop playing.
Adrian O’Connor nominated her for being a great role model and supporter of young match officials.
“She is a shining example of the qualities a referee should present,” Adrian said.
“Over many years, Lynda has been an effective mentor for all referees, especially young female referees.”
Lynda, who has been involved in both the Westfield W-League and the old Women’s National Soccer League, said she takes “great satisfaction” from seeing those she has coached reach high levels.
“I coach any referee that sends me a message, an email, anything,” she said. “If they want me to come out and watch them, I will help develop any referee that asks.
“If they ask me personally to come out on my time, I will go out and look at that referee and develop that referee to the best of my ability.
“I enjoy giving feedback and making them the best they can be as referees and as human beings.”
Lynda spent 15 years playing the game before moving into refereeing and her talent-spotting has extended beyond the scope of emerging match officials.
“When I was out assessing referees, if I found a really good female player, I would ring up Rae Dower and give her their name,” she explained.
“And I would try to get female players to become referees after they retired, or had injuries like I did. [In Queensland], we’re more passionate I think. I think we want to be the best we can be.”
Her advice to young referees is simple: have fun, enjoy the experience, and try to improve.
“Go out there and enjoy the game, just like the players do,” she said. “That makes it better for yourself and the players will it enjoy it too. Don’t take it all too seriously.
“Apply the laws, be fair and firm, but smile and enjoy it. You should enjoy it just as much as the players. That’s my advice.
“I like to teach referees to be the best they can be. Not everyone can make it to the top, but just strive to be the best you can be.
“I had no visions of going anywhere, I just went out there because I loved the game. But look where it led me. I would never have expected that.
“If you do the job and be the best you can be, you never know where it will take you.”
Visit the Female Football Week page to read more about how FQ is celebrating in 2021 and to see a list of upcoming events.