Navy Referees Society

The Navy Referees Society joined up with other service counterparts to enjoy the Combined Service Rugby Referees Bi-annual dinner at RAF Uxbridge on the eve of the Army v Navy match. Guest of honour was a great friend of Navy rugby, His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett who made an entertaining speech relaying a number of anecdotes gleaned from many years on RFU disciplinary panels. Two Combined Service awards were presented; the first to Steve Harland as Combined Services Rugby Referee Official of the Year. Steve has been a referee on the National Panel for 10 years, for nine of those years working as a civil servant he carried out the duties of appointment secretary for the Federation in Devon & Cornwall area. During this time he nurtured many service referees in their early years. He has taken his vocation one stage further in the last year and he is now a full time Rugby Referee Development Officer with the RFU. Stew Kilby, Chairman of the Referees Society said "It is an honour for the society as a whole for Steve to be presented with such a prestigious award". Andy Watson of the RAF was awarded the Combined Services Referee of the Year. Jeff Blackett also presented Rich Whelan with his RN colours, gained by representing the Navy Society running touch for the RAF v Army at Newbury last month. The next morning saw many of the referees up early to be on duty at the Daily Telegraph Emerging Schools Festival at Staines and then the finals at Twickenham. This festival is a national competition for schools that do not normally play rugby, with a major incentive the run out on the hallowed turf of Twickenham during halftime of the Army v Navy match. Tim Bailey