Teenage whistle-blower walks tall among the refs
Without referees, there would be no football – that was the message from Northern Areas Football Association president Clive Killian at the inaugural referees awards ceremony on Saturday.
The event was held at the Gelvan Grounds where referees past and present were recognised for their loyal service.
The function was attended by more than 40 referees and dignitaries, who began their careers with Nafa before mov- ing up the officiating ladder to provincial and national level.
Also in attendance were internationally recognised referees Robert Smith and Deidre Zealand.
Referees who officiated in games during the 2018 Nafa season were awarded with tokens of appreciation.
A number of special honours were awarded to a select group of individuals who went beyond the call of duty.
Among these awards were the senior referee of the year, which went to Christopher Houlie, and the junior award, which went to Rabia Noorshib.
Speaking about the accolade, Houlie said he was happy as it was not something he had expected.
“Recognition is not the most important thing, but receiving this accolade is the icing on the cake.”
Noorshib, 15, said she only started officiating halfway through the 2018 season, but it was something she enjoyed.
“My mother is a soccer coach so that is how I got into it,” she said.
“It’s a lot of fun, stressful at times, but still fun.”
ON THE UP: Rabia Noorshib claims her Junior Referee of the Year award at the inaugural Nafa Referees Awards last week. Presenting the trophy is Aubrey Simons, another Nafa stalwart