Centre Stage

Rising stars of the refereeing world have attended the inaugural NSWRL Emerging Talent Camp and been given lessons on how to accelerate their progression as rugby league officials.

Selected referees and touch judges took part in the camp that’s designed to give officials a taste of life on an official’s journey to the NRL or VB NSW Cup.

Participating officials heard from a range of speakers at the event, including NRL referee Phil Haines and keynote speaker and legendary whistleblower Bill Harrigan.

A range of topics were covered, including strength and conditioning requirements, success under pressure, transitioning through the grades and career paths.

Promising official Blake Williams said the Emerging Talent Camp was incredibly worthwhile and a learning experience that will continue to help his development as an official in the coming years.

“I thought the event overall was very enjoyable – I got a lot out of it as a whole,” Williams said.

“Bill Harrigan’s speech was really motivational. He showed the attitude it takes to go as far as possible…

“Overall the camp to me was very successful and beneficial. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the organising and running of the camp.”

Michael Karam was another who got plenty out of the two-day experience.

"The weekend was very successful and all the referees in the Emerging Talent squad can take a lot of experience and knowledge out of and bring back and apply to their district footy," Karam said.

"There is still a long road ahead but with this coaching, experience and guidance from all of these people over the weekend everyone's refereeing abilities will only improve."