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In March’s edition of The Referees' Association's Society Spotlight, we found out about the events at Derby & South Derbyshire RA, one of the newest and fastest growing associations in the country. 

Derby & South Derbyshire RA was formed in early 2021, as a result of bringing two historic, once great, LRA’s Derby & District RA (discontinued in the last 10 years due to various reasons) and South Derbyshire RA (that was purely retained in name with One member) together and resurrecting the much-needed Referee support in these areas. Now the largest local RA in the County in our first season, we are very greaful for the support received from The RA, guests, members, friends and family.

We are very proud of our badge design embracing our heritage (both former standalone logo’s) along with the Flag of Derbyshire and RA logo cleverly combined in its shield badge. 

At our first launch meeting as a Society in September 2021, we were joined by EFL assistant referee Andrew Dallison, who spoke about the importance of teamwork, communication, and staying calm in situations.

A month later, Akil Howson, a Select Group 2 Assistant Referee joined us as our guest speaker. Akil started the session by playing an interactive game and quiz. Following that, Akil spoke about the best and worst moments of his career in refereeing, helping all members realise they faced similar challenges. 

In our November meeting, Derby and South Derbyshire RA were joined by Premier League assistant referee, Sian Massey-Ellis. Sian spoke about several topics, including why she got into refereeing, the challenges of being a match official, Video Assistant Refereeing and her work-life balance, and much more. There was also an opportunity for an ice breaker game. 

In December, we held our Christmas Social, Buffet and our Christmas quiz which was superbly attended. 

In January, our guest speaker was Martin Ford, a former Basketball referee and now coach to officials, who spoke about the two different sports and told us about what it was like to officiate Basketball and compared similar of the skills required. . 

February saw Select Group 1 Referee, Kevin Friend who tested our law knowledge and helped members understand the depth of our toolkit that we can use to improve our refereeing. 

We pride ourselves on bringing ‘extra’ value to our members, in the form of additional games and tournament opportunities, food at meetings, live streaming of meetings to a private members group for any members (who can’t attend in person) to name but a few. 

Over the last few months, our membership has grown rapidly to 117 since the launch of Derby and South Derbyshire RA and we hope this inspires many other local RA’s too, to show what can be achieved when the energy and focus is applied to the LRA goals. 

Kevin Friend presenting at our meeting last month

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The National RA recommends that prospective members should join through their local LRA, the easiest way being to attend one of the many local association meetings that take place across the country on a regular (usually monthly) basis. Find your nearest branch now.

Alternatively, online membership is now available for any referee who wishes to take up central membership. The National RA will then allocate you a local branch. Join now.