The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 competition has been electric, providing an amazing opportunity to showcase the women’s game right here in England.
There’s been moments of breath-taking skill, stunning goals and late, late drama (thank you Georgia Stanway)!
However, the talent on the pitch goes beyond the 22 players, with the competition also showcasing the quality female officials within the game.
We spoke to Cheshire’s own Ruby Sykes about the Euros and potential impact that the competition will have in elevating female referees.
“The Euros have been really exciting, I think even more so because they are taking place here,” said Ruby. “I’ve been watching as many games as I can on the TV and I have had tickets for a couple of matches.
“The Euros is a huge event and this tournament is filled with inspirational women. As well as the Lionesses, it’s so exciting to have a full team of officials representing! I think lots of girls and women have been, and will continue to watch the matches, feeling inspired by the amazing match officials, and hopefully this will inspire them to get on a referee course themselves!”
Ruby’s journey in refereeing has coincided with a pivotal time for women’s football, with Ruby highlighting some amazing opportunities she’s had since getting involved with refereeing with Cheshire FA. Her advice to those females thinking of taking up refereeing: give it a go!
“I started refereeing four years ago and I can’t believe the improvements in the women’s game and how fast it has grown,” she said.
“When I started refereeing, I did not realise the opportunities I would have, especially in the women’s game. Since starting my refereeing journey, I have looked up to the likes of Rebecca Welch and it has been amazing to see her refereeing in the Euros!
“For girls and women thinking about maybe taking up refereeing, I would say give it a go! There are so, so many opportunities, and refereeing is an amazing chance to meet new friends and have fun, all while playing a vital role in football!”
The future is certainly bright for the women’s game, and Euro 2022 will play a huge part in raising the profile and exposure of women’s football. It’s a sentiment Ruby shares fully.
“By the time we get to the next Euros, I think the game will have only grown so much more than it has already,” she stated.
“I think there will be more fans and more media attention so it is very exciting times - I don’t think there has been a better time to be a referee in the women’s game! Personally, I am looking forward to making the most of all the opportunities that come my way and progressing as far as I can in the women’s game.”
If you’re a female interested in getting involved in refereeing, Cheshire FA is hosting a number of FA Referees Courses across the county in 2022.
This is the first step on the referee pathway and, once you successfully complete the course, you will become a qualified referee.
For more information and to book, click here