Refresh head to Anfield to deliver PGMOL Breaking Barriers

PGMOL headed to Anfield, the world-famous home of Liverpool FC for their latest ‘Breaking
Barriers in the Community’ session, delivering an interactive event in collaboration with
Liverpool FC Foundation.

Hosted by sports reporter Sanny Rudravajhala, a panel consisting of Development Group
trio Sam Barrott, Emily Carney and Ruebyn Ricardo gave the audience an insight into their
lives through pictures. As well as sharing photos and stories from their officiating journeys
and personal lives, the panel also took part in a Q&A which helped the audience learn and
understand more about the individuals who are making the decisions out on the pitch,

National League referee Ruebyn Ricardo, who is the youngest ever referee from the Black
community to become a matchday official for an EFL match, took the audience through his
journey, from leaving school with one qualification, to mentoring young adults in schools
and public speaking. When asked about how he is on the pitch compared to off-field,
Ruebyn said, “I see myself as just Ruebyn Ricardo with a referee kit on.”

The community event brought together young people from the Liverpool FC Foundation and
their surrounding network, including students from Liverpool John Moores University and
Fowler Academy, as well as representatives from BAMRef Support and the Rugby Football
League. Attendees learnt about how to get involved with refereeing and had an opportunity
to step into the role of a Video Assistant Referee.

Select Group Two Match Official, Sam Barrott, expressed the importance and impact that
the Elite Referee Development Plan (ERDP) has had on his career and training so far “For me
ERDP allowed me to have part-time contract…that then leads to being able to look in detail
at more matches, talking in more detail about diet, training, nutrition, everything around it
[the job]…All of this has come from having that time with ERDP.”

Emily Carney, Development Group Assistant Referee, spoke of the importance of
representation in the game, in order for more people to be able to view being a Match
Official, as a career choice, “Hopefully it [the event] has shown that if you can see it, then
you can be it… There are now a few more female match officials that hopefully can inspire

The room was a hub of current and former referees from the professional game, allowing
the attendees to ask questions and network with some of the most experienced people in
the industry. A Q&A segment towards the end of the evening allowed the audience to dive
deeper into the panel and ask them about their opinions on a variety of topics, including off-
field training and development and the drive to increase representation at all levels of the

For more information on how to get into refereeing, click here or search ‘Get into

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