Budding football referees received a visit from top match official Steven McLean this week, as he delivered their new equipment.

Pupils at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock are currently working towards their SQA refereeing personal development award qualification, which is sponsored by Specsavers.

Newton Mearns store manager Nishma Patel, joined Steven as he delivered the kits to PE teacher Ryan Kerr.

The Scottish Football Association has teamed up with the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Specsavers to run the refereeing professional development award for the last six years. St Ninian’s High School are one of 33 schools who offer the qualification in Scotland, with more than 500 students enrolled across the country.

Refereeing equipment

Each school which offers the refereeing course receives refereeing equipment and learning materials. Scottish Football Association referee recruitment and education officer Steven Mclean said: ‘With the support of Specsavers and the SQA, we are delighted to be able to offer opportunities like this to young people across Scotland.

‘The SQA award is a key part of our strategy to increase participation in refereeing and help develop the referees of tomorrow. Therefore we are thrilled to gift the schools with vital refereeing material and support them, along with Specsavers, in any way that we can.’

A word from St Ninian’s PE teacher

St Ninian’s High School PE teacher Ryan Kerr said: ‘I would like to thank the Scottish FA and sponsors Specsavers for donating the refereeing equipment and learning materials to the school, I know that they will be extremely beneficial to the class.

‘It is great to offer a qualification within the school that offers important life skills to the pupils that they can go on to use once they leave school. We would be absolutely thrilled to one day see our pupils refereeing at a major competition and know that it is possible.’

Newton Mearns store manager Nishma Patel added: ‘Specsavers sponsorship of the SFA match officials is much more than just a logo on a shirt. We are dedicated to developing grass-roots refereeing in Scotland, and are very proud to see the pupils receive their equipment.’

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