140 Queensland Rugby referees gathered on Sunday 16 February, to launch their rugby season with an education and social event. The QRRA (Brisbane), which covers referees in greater Brisbane, hosted the event at the Anglican Church Grammar School and afterwards at the nearby Lord Stanley Hotel. Referees from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and several schools also participated in the education program.
The workshop kicked off with a SmartRugby course on rugby safety, led by Australian Barbarian Haydn Hirsimaki, who shared his experience as a front rower with referees preparing to manage the new scrum engagement call.
QRRA President Mark Hogan outlined several major initiatives of the QRU and QRRA, including the new ARU Referee Profile and Coaching Format and the reinvigorated Referee fitness training program led by QRRA member Pat Rae. The new QRRA on-field uniform was also launched at the event (as modelled by QRRA Committee member Cathy Briner, right).
The core of the day’s education program was the presentation of the 2014 Game Management Guidelines by ARU Referee Panellist Dr Rachel Horton and Premier Referee John Christopherson. Rachel and John took attendees through examples of best practice in management of key areas of the game for the coming season. The season was then formally launched at a social event at the nearby Lord Stanley Hotel, where referees caught up with colleagues and discussed the finer points of the days’ education program.
QRRA President Mark Hogan said “We are delighted with the improving attendance at this event, and at QRRA training and education events generally. A 75% improvement in attendance on last year is an indication of the strength building in our association. We are working hard with the QRU and with our members to build the presence and standard of rugby refereeing in Queensland.”
He also expressed the QRRA’s thanks to the presenters and the QRU, as well as to “Churchie” for their ongoing hospitality to the QRRA.