We’ve teamed up with The FA to host an inspiring event next month, aimed at encouraging the future generation of Black, Asian, and Mixed Heritage referees.

In partnership with Step Forward Luton, Luton Council and GSV Sports Management, The FA are rolling out new bursaries across referring courses.

The free event is all about spreading the referee love and sharing the countless benefits with our diverse Luton community. The FA’s mission? To address the underrepresentation of Black, Asian, and Mixed Heritage referees in referring.

Step Forward Luton Ambassador Abu Nasir is thrilled about this opportunity, and he thinks Luton could set the stage for other counties in England.

“I’m thrilled the FA are providing this opportunity for Luton. We are one of the most diverse towns in the country with a passionate football following and all eyes will be on us as this could be a framework for other counties throughout England.”

Abu Nasir, Luton Ambassador

These referee courses are tailor-made to equip fresh refs with the skills and knowledge to safely and effectively manage grassroots football matches. If you’re 14 or older and keen to ref mini soccer, 9 v 9, or 11 v 11 football, this is your golden ticket.

Normally, these courses cost £140, but with the bursary, you can grab it for just £40. And it’s not just about the fitness and pro skills – you could be pocketing £30 to £45 per match as a newly-certified ref, with doors open to higher-paying gigs in the semi-pro and professional leagues.

FA spokesperson Raj Randhawa added:

“The recent launch of the Refereeing Strategy is critical to attracting and retaining our match officials. We aim to create a safe, inclusive and enjoyable environment for referees at all levels and to offer strong support throughout their career.”

“It specifically outlines our targets and positive action programmes that will further diversify the referee and match official community.

“I would encourage the people of Luton and specifically the Black, Asian and Mixed heritage populations to attend this event to find out more about bursary and career opportunities. Referees are the lifeblood of our game and we would love the opportunity to welcome you into the football family.”

Raj Randhawa, FA spokesperson

So, mark your calendars for Wednesday 15 November, from 6pm to 9pm, and make your way to the Crescent Hall, Luton. This event is open to everyone and you can save your place at the event here or email raj.randhawa@thefa.com for more information.

About the Author
Laura Redmond

Laura is a passionate supporter of the Step Forward Luton campaign and a Place Activation and Marketing Coordinator for Luton Council. Armed with a journalism degree and unwavering love for her university town, she often pens positive blogs that spotlights the best of Luton. From charity work to market management, Laura's professional journey has explored every corner of Luton. And when she's not busy being a marketing maven, she's out on a culinary adventure, unearthing the town's hidden foodie gems.