Football Queensland announces Schools Referee Program

In an effort to boost referee numbers across the state, Football Queensland has announced a brand-new innovative Schools Referee Program in order to educate students about becoming match officials.

Refereeing is undoubtedly a vital part of football everywhere, and Football Queensland’s work towards building up match officials for the future is essential to the longevity of the game in its current form.

Football Queensland CEO, Robert Cavallucci, acknowledged the potential impact of the program for the state’s football future.

“The Schools Referee Program will grow referee numbers across the state as schools sign up to host a Level 4 Introductory Course for students,” he said.

“This program aligns with FQ’s Strategic Plan target to develop new schools programs and improve coach and referee development opportunities in an accessible way. Students will learn how to become a referee within their school environment, gaining a new qualification and the opportunity to earn money while embarking on a rewarding career path.

“Students have the opportunity to become part of the FQ referee family, gaining access to valuable resources such as education materials, video analysis tools and mentoring by senior FQ referees.

“Football Queensland is confident the Schools Referee Program will help cultivate the next generation of referees to officiate matches at community football or in our elite competitions.”

Jacqui Hurford, Football Queensland State Referee Manager, was enthusiastic about the numerous benefits afforded by the program for schools and students.

“The aim of this program is to help the schools become self-sufficient in match officials, which will ultimately drive down their costs. Boosting the number of student referees will address the shortage of match officials available for school games, particularly during school hours,” she said.

“Student referees exhibit improved confidence, self-discipline and a sense of responsibility, developing leadership skills as well as problem solving and conflict resolution.”

All registered first-year referees will receive a registration pack which includes a referee uniform, whistle, flag and cards. Football Queensland will also be providing schools with marketing collateral in an effort to promote the course to students, and to deliver the program at a time that best suits the school.

Dandenong Thunder to enjoy $700,000 LED lighting upgrade at George Andrews Reserve

Dandenong Thunder lighting upgrade

Greater Dandenong Council and Dandenong Thunder have recently confirmed that works have commenced for new powerful lighting towers to be built at George Andrews Reserve.

The upgrade will cost $700,000 and is being jointly funded by Greater Dandenong Council ($500,000) and the State Government ($200,000) with a plan to improve the ground’s overall quality for both training and matches. They formerly had 200-lux LED towers and they will be replaced by 500-lux towers.

For the Greater Dandenong local council, the focus was to improve the facility for the community to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits through the increased amount of playable hours at the reserve.

Importantly, the project ensures that the Thunder have a ground that is up to professional competition and broadcast standards which means they can broadcast and host games that are viewed by a national audience, a huge step forward for the NPL Victoria club.

This broadcast upgrade also opens up the possibility to expand to national matches involving the Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City A-League women’s teams and an even more ambitious goal of hosting a Matildas game. The ground can easily hold 5000 people and the lighting and broadcasting standards will be fantastic after this upgrade.

Dandenong Thunder shared the positive implications this light upgrade has for the club.

“The new lights mean the club will be able to host a number of games, not only that but it’s a step forward to the clubs ambition to be part of the NSD (national second division),” a club spokesperson told Soccerscene.

“The support from local council has been nothing but fantastic, Dandenong want to be a sporting hub for the south east suburbs.

“With the FA cup we have seen A-League clubs play at local level clubs, having these new high powered lights we will be able to broadcast at a higher quality, no more yellow light broadcast.”

This news presents an exciting future for Dandenong Thunder and the matches played at George Andrews Reserve. The quality of training, matches and broadcasts has improved tenfold and it matches the size of the NPL Victoria side that have big ambitions.

CPKC and Kansas City Current’s major stadium naming rights deal a win for women’s sport

CPKC Stadium design

The world’s first professional female-football dedicated stadium – home of the NWSL’s Kansas City Current – will be known as CPKC Stadium, after an historic naming rights deal was agreed with the North American rail network company.

Formed as a merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern rail networks in July this year, CPKC represents the first trans-North American rail network between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

CPKC has been a leading investor for women’s sports in the state of Kansas, and CPKC President & CEO, Keith Creel, was proud to announce the stadium naming rights deal.

“We are incredibly proud to sponsor the Kansas City Current and support this history-making project here in the city that is at the heart of our North American rail network,” Creel said via press release.

“CPKC has been a long-time champion of women’s sports and of investing in our communities. This stadium and this partnership with the Current will build on that legacy as together we write a new chapter here in Kansas City.”

CPKC will also hold naming rights to the stadium’s outdoor space for fans, which will be known as CPKC Plaza. This area provides entertainment for all CPKC Stadium attendees, including the KC Current’s official merchandise store.

It is hoped that the naming rights deal will kickstart further investment in women’s football across the region, which has been the cornerstone of the KC Current’s existence according to co-founders and owners, Angie and Chris Long.

“Our [KC Current & CPKC] organisations share a commitment to strive for excellence, invest heavily in our communities and raise the bar with global influence. We are extremely excited to work with CPKC on this historic agreement and know our partnership will create a long-standing positive impact!”

Further to its substantial investment in women’s football, CPKC’s establishment of a direct line between Canada, the United States and Mexico is expected to have substantial benefits for football supporters attending the 2026 Men’s FIFA World Cup.

Presently, though, the stadium naming rights deal demonstrates CPKC’s intention to be a key investor in women’s football across Kansas and North America.

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