Oliver Selfe, CEO at Wiltshire said, “Ella has been nominated, and consequently been awarded at national level, due to her consistently calm approach and ability to handle awkward situations with a smile. Matches always run smoothly when Ella officiates. She works hard every day to improve herself, showing dedication and commitment so she can reach the top of her game.”
17-year-old Ella, from Westbury in Wiltshire is adding this award to her growing, impressive list of achievements including her recent promotion to 4W-3W on the FA Referee’s Female Pathway, with Ella completing the criteria to be promoted from a County League Referee to a Women’s National League Referee.
Ella is not only progressing her own career, but as one of the 13 members of The FA’s prestigious National Young Referee Development Team is a key figure in supporting other young referees. Ella attends regular meetings at St George’s Park, delivering advice, reporting back to Wiltshire FA and running events across the year.
Personally, she has excelled with two FA Cup appointments as an assistant referee and was awarded by The FA for her incredible work with a Women’s reserve Cup Final appointment in Nottingham.
Ella comments, “Receivingthe FA Match Official of the Year award and being recognised for all the hard work I have put in, has been an amazing way to finish season 19/20.
“It has been great to up my game this season, I want to progress further and ultimately would love to make a career out of refereeing.
“I have been refereeing for four years now, when I look back, I can see that becominga referee has had a hugely positive impact on my life. I have had some great opportunities and feel proud to be part of a movement in the female game.”
Launched in March 2017, The FA’s Gameplan for Growth strategy for women’s and girls’ football pledged to tackle ambitious targets and change perceptions in the women’s game, including the active promotion of great opportunities in the referee pathway for women.
After four seasons the strategy is now concluding, and the results demonstrate accelerated development of female referees with a 72% increase in the number of female refs.
Oliver concludes “Ella is a refereeing dynamo. Despite studying hard for her A Levels, she still continues to officiate across Wiltshire in 9 different leagues from adult men’s, women and youth, often covering 4-5 games a week.
Her fairness and respect on the pitch and her keenness to help shape the future of young referees and women in football knows no bounds, and she was selected for the FA CORE this year, attending FA training camps and also a youth leadership scheme.
Congratulations Ella, this award is well deserved, and we are extremely proud of what you have achieved.”
Refereeing offers both career opportunities and life skills. There is a clear development pathway and plenty of opportunities at local, national and international level.
The FA is aiming to recruit more female referees as part of the National Refereeing Strategy, which recognises the future of refereeing, and football, relies on ensuring opportunities are available to those people who show potential.