On Monday 22nd December, Bury St Edmunds RA welcomed George Lowe, the RA Chairman, as guest speaker at our 4th meeting of the season, and 4th face-to-face event since the Covid outbreak. George delivered an insightful presentation on the structure of the RA, his personal role as Chairman, the planned RA events for this season, and some potential changes in the pipeline for the future.
George also encouraged a discussion into changes we would like to see the RA implement, which would benefit our members, as a local RA, and attract new members to the RA in general. We found this extremely refreshing and a positive way forward for the RA to receive feedback from the local RA’s. It was clear that George’s enthusiasm and commitment to the role is exactly the right person to lead the next stage in the RA’s ongoing development to keep the organisation relevant to its members.
George kindly presented our President, Kelvin Morton, with a certificate recognising the 100th anniversary of our formation as a local society. We recently established that our society was founded in 1920 through the finding of an old document recording the history of our first 45 years of existence, written by our first President in 1965. We held a celebration Centenary Quiz night in September with over 30 attendees. Unfortunately, we didn’t qualify for the official RA Centenary Award due to periods of inactivity through World War 2, but it was an incredibly nice gesture by George Lowe and Ian Campbell to recognise the milestone anyway.
In addition to having a lengthy history, we consider ourselves to be a growing society with circa 40 members in each of the last 4 seasons. For years before we experienced a gradual reduction in membership. We finished the 2015/16 season with a hugely disappointing 10 members, and an even poorer attendance at meetings. This prompted a change in committee, who have since worked tirelessly to publicise our society and implement countless changes to benefit the local referees and attract members back. The new committee decided to apply the RA’s QUEST framework to improve how our society was run, which has undoubtedly benefited us in the long term, and we achieved the Bronze QUEST award in September 2018.
Every season we aim to vary our meetings as much as possible to interest all ages, genders, levels and roles within our membership. Our popular meetings include our annual awards evening and laws of the game update (on the back of our AGM), our President’s video analysis session called “Kelvin’s Clips”, a development session in conjunction with the Suffolk FA referees department, and we always take in a live game at Bury Town FC. During Covid, we held regular meetings online via Zoom to keep the local referees engaged and, fortunately, we have been able to maintain our membership numbers through the period. Our aim is now to continue the progress before Covid and further increase the size of our society.
Our Current Committee
President – Kelvin Morton – Ex-Premier League Referee & current EFL Observer
Chairman – George Byrne – Select Group 2 Assistant Referee
Secretary – Ryan Middleton – Level 5 to 4 Promotion Candidate
Treasurer & Memberships – Abi Byrne – Level 3 & Women’s FIFA Referee
Vice-Chairman & Suffolk RA County Rep – Ken Reeves – Level 4 Referee
Welfare Officer – Chris Perkins – Level 5 to 4 Promotion Candidate
Press Officer – Anthony Reeve – Level 5 Referee
The Referees' Association congratulates Bury St Edmunds RA on their centenary year and we look forward to having them as part of The RA for many more years to come.
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