World Cup Reflection: All-Women Refs as Inspiration
Read below to hear from one of our SFYS YAC Leaders, Roisin!
One of our YAC Leaders, Roisin, a player and youth referee, relfects on her own experience watching an historic moment for gender equity:
On Thursday, December 1st 2022, history was made.
The first all-female referee crew officiated a World Cup group stage game between Costa Rica and Germany. As I watched these history-makers step out onto the field, I felt an immense amount of pride and joy. Starting at a young age, I always wondered why I never saw female referees whenever I watched professional soccer on TV. When I was given the chance to become a referee, I knew instantly that I couldn’t say no to this opportunity. Six years later, I can confidently say that this was one of the best decisions I could’ve ever made. However, I never felt as if I had anyone to look up to and encourage me to keep going when others made me feel as if I wasn’t as good as fellow male referees my age.
I now know that this is not the case. Stephanie Frappart, Neuza Black, and Karen Diaz will forever serve as role models to not only myself but also the future generation of hopeful youth female referees.
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We'll be hosting a Grassroots Referee Certification for brand new referees in February! (https://learning.ussoccer.com/referee)
Roisin maybe if you have time you can mentor these new referees in the spring a be a role model for them too. :)
Marcus Oringer did 5 weeks at Rossi (4 games a weekend / 2 kids doing 2 games each) and it was a huge help for new referees to learn from other experienced youth referees!
Roisin, even though you didn't have any referee role models, YOU get to fill that role for younger female-identifying players who may want to become referees (like my daughter, and your YAC peer, Eleanor; and some of her teammates). Thank you for setting an example!
I'm sorry that others have treated you as not equal to your male counterparts. I worked as a firefighter for a short time and I can empathize with your experience. I wish it didn't still happen, but it does. I think the more female-identifying referees we get out onto the pitch, the more we can work collectively to overcome that belief.
Thank you for inspiring young kids to work towards pursuing something they want. And thank you to all the female referees out there, as you likely have a story similar to Roisin's.