Referees travel to rugby league Mecca of St Helens

The Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens with RLEF delegates outside St Helens Town Hall

The Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens with RLEF delegates outside St Helens Town Hall

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A host of referees from across Europe have visited their “rugby league Mecca” - aka St Helens!

The group - which included 32 Rugby League European Federation Referees from 16 nations - were welcomed by the town’s mayor and mayoress, Councillors Dave and Jean Banks.

As part of the EU Erasmus+ funded TEP project – jointly funded by the EU and Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) to promote coaching and match officials’ education in rugby league in the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) - officials from nations including the Ukraine, Serbia, Malta and the Czech Republic were able to visit St Helens to experience professional sporting facilities at St Helens RLFC and Cowley International College.

It is the second successive year that Cowley, the St Helens Rugby League Referees Society ( RLRS) and Saints have collaborated to host RLEF delegates, and thanks to the RLRS, the group were able to begin the process of an RLEF Level II Match Officials qualification.

Innes Arnold from the St Helens Rugby League Referees Society said: “I’d like to thank the Mayor and Mayoress for their enthusiasm for our project.

“The delegates were all very impressed and delighted to be received as honoured civic guests of St Helens, a town they consider as a Mecca for their chosen sport.

“We hope to make St Helens a centre of excellence for the development of rugby league match officials.”