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Changes to Referee Leadership Team 2024

Heading into 2024 and another massive year for Touch across England, the ETA is announcing changes to the referee leadership team.

After sterling service as National Referee Manager (NRM), Robin Budd informed the ETA management that he intended to step down from the position at the end of 2023, which coincided with the birth of his twin daughters on December 28th. Robin’s enthusiasm and energy have been second to none, and while he has our thanks for the work he has done over recent seasons the ETA management is also delighted that he will continue to both be a regular face in the referee tent as well as the Association’s Disciplinary and Grievance Lead.

Stepping up from Deputy National Referee Manager is Jack Harris, who will take on the role of NRM as of the beginning of the main 2024 season. As a result, Jack will be stepping down from his current role as the University Touch Manager once the current BUCS University Touch Championships finishes in March. The ETA will announce the process for filling the vacancy of University Touch Manager in due course, an important position given the rapid growth of University Touch over the past three years.

Commenting on the changes, England Touch CEO, Chris Simon, said: “We are extremely lucky to have two such dedicated and talented volunteers involved in the sport of Touch in England.

“Robin and Jack have been incredible assets to the ETA over the last few years and I would like to thank them both for their time and input, but also for what they have achieved in their respective areas.

“While we are sad to see them vacating their positions, I am delighted that both will be staying on board to help us to deliver in such an exciting year for the ETA. Given the amount of work now involved in many of our volunteering positions, we will be taking the opportunity to review the Universities area and better understand what is needed through 2024 and beyond.”

Robin said: “The first thing I did when I was appointed was to call Jack to beg him to join the team. It was the best decision I made in the role, and from the start he's been a constant support to me, a brilliant source of ideas and an incredibly hard-working asset. Any successes that the ETA Referee Team have had since 2019 are at least as much his as mine, and I look forward to supporting him and seeing where he will take things forward to over the coming seasons.”

“I can't thank Rob enough for his efforts over the past few years,” added Jack. “We've worked really well together and I'm so glad he is going to continue to support us as his family grows. I've loved my time as the Universities Manager and can't believe the level of growth we've seen, but I feel like refereeing and continuing to support our referee cohort is my next calling and I hope, alongside our refereeing leadership team, we will continue to provide a safe, enjoyable environment where all of our referees can shine.”

Moving into 2024, the Referee Leadership Team has grown, and the ETA will continue to build this cohort in a way that means we are able to support all levels of refereeing across England. With a big year ahead for the ETA we're very lucky to have the following individuals who continue to support us:

Refereeing Events Leads: Vicki Offland, Dan Harrison and Julian Edwards

New Referee Ambassador: Layo Aromire

Referee Courses and Database Lead: Chloe Spencer

ETA HP Camp Support Liaison: Feargal Evans

Regional Referee Leads are also in place to support clubs and teams in their development of referees. Contact them via your Regional Lead.

North East: Ian "Tank" Tankard

North West: Jordi Bitlloch

Midlands: Mike Davis

West: Dan Harrison

South East: Layo Aromire

South West: Stephen Dubreuil

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