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The NSWRL Referee Development Squad camp welcomed 85 participants last weekend at the Broken Bay Sport and Recreation Centre, as work begins on preparing officials for the 2024 season.  

The referees, aged between 17-24, travelled from across the state to advance their skills and knowledge ahead of a bumper season next year for NSWRL competitions.

The camp consisted of rigorous physical sessions early in the morning before skill-based training in the afternoons.

Team building and bonding exercises were also a key part of the camp, including activities like orienteering and raft building.

“The focus of the weekend was all about connection,” Officiating Development Officer and former NRL referee Gavin Badger said.

NSWRL's Gavin Badger addresses referees squad
NSWRL's Gavin Badger addresses referees squad

“The more you are connected, the more you are likely to work well together.

“The camp was also about learning about each other and learning about the staff.”

The camp was organised by NSWRL Referees Operations Manager Paul Kalina, with Badger rolling out the sessions supported by 12 coaching staff.

The combination of training and team building provides the squad with a good base as they progress to higher levels of officiating.

“The camp helps bring the referees up to the standards of the competition they will be officiating in, above the park football and grassroots level that they’re used to,” Badger said.

The Development Squad will be given the opportunity to officiate games for the UNE SG Ball Cup, UNE Harold Matthews Cup, SLE Laurie Daley Cup, SLE Andrew Johns Cup, Tarsha Gale Cup and Lisa Fiaola Cup.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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