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  • Writer's pictureDurham County RFU Admin

Durham County Schools’ Union Young Match Officials Programme proudly sponsored by Vic Young Mitsubis

Durham Schools’ Union have partnered with Vic Young Mitsubishi Motors’ to increase the number of Young Match Officials in the County.

Durham are pleased to announce one of their new sponsorship partnership with Vic Young car dealership, which will help the Schools’ Union provide referee qualifications and support for hundreds of young rugby ambassadors.

The Young Match Officials Programme has been designed to recruit school pupils to become level one and level two qualified referees.

Vic Young, Managing Director of the Dealership, said: “I have had many years’ of experience in rugby throughout the North East.

“And, I take pride in ensuring young people of the area take the opportunity of a well-balanced environment which I believe the rugby community offers to them.”

This opportunity will work with a cluster of affiliated Durham Schools’ to begin with, to provide Rugby Football Union accredited Quilter Kids First Refereeing courses and Refereeing the 15-aside game courses. The level one qualification will enable the pupils to referee up to U13, while the level two covers all ages.

Young added: “At the risk of sounding corny, the people of the North East have been very generous with their support for the business in the last 45 years, and this is our way of putting something back!”

As well as opening the door to more young rugby volunteers and adding value to their rugby experience, this programme will also welcome Durham County Referee Society Mentors to shadow the rugby ambassadors and improve their confidence and knowledge of the game.

Durham is not only the first Schools’ Union to lead on such a programme, thanks to their sponsorship deal but they will also be the first to offer ‘Referee Caps’ to pupils that join the programme.

The referees will be invited to officiate at Durham Schools’ fixtures such as the County Cup and local festivals. By attending the events, they gain points in the YMO Schools’ table and Schools’ could be in with a chance of winning and RFU equipment pack.

John Pearson, Former Schools’ Union Secretary, said: “The average referee age in Durham, is ageing and this programme will enable us to challenge that by supporting a new feed of young ambassadors.

“This will hopefully invite more than just rugby players to the programme, and instead increase the pool of people involved in the game in the area.

“It is just the beginning of a fantastic opportunity for Durham Schools.”

If you would like to learn more about refereeing, please check out the latest course dates near you, or get in touch with Durham County at

Keep an eye out for more news on our YMO programme, and another monetary award confirmed, this week!

By Clarissa Murphy

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