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Referees hear True Blue Paul Langmack's message

True Blue Paul Langmack has voiced his support for the men and women in the middle after addressing members of the Penrith District Referees Association as part of the NSWRL’s ‘Changing Rooms’ mental fitness sessions.

Langmack, a triple NRL premiership-winner with Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the NSWRL’s Mental Fitness and Wellbeing Manager, usually speaks to Junior Rugby League clubs, high schools, community groups, charities, PCYCs, other sporting codes.

But 2024 has provided new audiences so far, such as Navy officers and personnel from the Maritime Warfare Centre at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park - and now Rugby League referees.

“Well, everyone needs help from time to time … and referees are no different,” Langmack told

“In fact, I told them they should be proud of what they do because without them, there is no game, no future, no pathway for our young men and women to become NRL players.

“There would be no entertainment for kids – even adults - to get off their couches, phones and computer games and get outside to play our great game.”

He said the commitment of referees is top-shelf considering most play as part of a team and then turn around and officiate matches in different grades all in a day’s work.

“They give so much to the game,” Langmack said. “And no hurdles are too great. I spoke to a guy using a wheelchair, who referees in the NSWRL Physical Disability League.”

Langmack said part of his message revolved around his time as a first grade player, Origin and Kangaroos team member when he tried not to let mistakes get into his head too much.

“Good players tell themselves, ‘Alright a missed a tackle but I won’t get in that position again’ and they forget about it; move on,” he said.

“Referees have got to forget their mistakes too – they are only human and we all make mistakes.

“A couple of parents I spoke to said their kids were referees but by Thursday they were still worried about a mistake they had made last weekend.

“The thing is life can’t always be perfect so don’t stay stuck in the past. Get out there and enjoy life.”

As for any verbal abuse from sidelines, Langmack said most was from adults who should know better.

“I told them most of the time these people are bullies, who were probably bullied themselves at home or school when they were younger,” he said.

“Adults shouldn’t be yelling at young kids or referees who just want to enjoy the game. There’s no place for it so don’t let it get to you.”

Those interested in booking ‘Changing Rooms’ for their organisation should email:


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