Mackay Northern Beaches State High School is one of several schools across the state taking advantage of Football Queensland’s free Schools Referee Program.
The program, which was launched by FQ in April 2021, aims to boost the number of student referees to address the shortage of match officials available for school games.
Mackay Northern Beaches SHS Football Coordinator Daniel Fraser said the 20 students who passed the Level 4 Referee course at his school will provide benefits to both the school and the region.
“I wanted to run a referee course at our school so that our students could get a proper accreditation, improve their knowledge of the game and use their skills to earn some money,” said Fraser.
“Having our own student refs means we can be more self-sufficient while also giving students a qualification that they can use for part-time work.
“It also provides us with student referees to ref our junior games for greater school and community involvement that we can provide to the Mackay district.”
Twelve schools from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, the Darling Downs and Mackay have already signed on to deliver referee courses in 2022.
For Fraser, the Schools Referee Program is one component of his vision to create a football Centre of Excellence at Mackay Northern Beaches SHS.
“Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a lot stronger pathway between school football and Football Queensland,” he said.
“I went to school at Albany Creek State High and did some work at Kelvin Grove State College, so that’s where I’ve been getting some of my ideas from.
“At Mackay Northern Beaches, we’ve gone from having 27 kids participating in four teams in our football program in 2019, to 62 kids in 14 teams in 2021.
“We want students to be technically and tactically better, but we also understand that a very small percentage of players actually go on to play at the elite level.
“I want students to think about the other opportunities to give back to community and grassroots or work in the Football Queensland industry.”
CLICK HERE to find out how to host a Level 4 Introductory Course at your school.