Referee Child earns SL promotion

The RFL has appointed James Child to its senior refereeing squad, taking the number of employed officials to seven.

Child, 26, joins Thierry Alibert, Phil Bentham, Steve Ganson, Richard Silverwood, Ian Smith and Ben Thaler in the senior squad of referees who will officiate at most Engage Super League matches in 2010.

Dewsbury-based Child will spend two days each week training with his six full-time colleagues and will combine the role with his position as a trainee chartered surveyor with Leeds City Council.

Child, who refereed 11 Engage Super League matches in the 2009 season, is delighted to be given the opportunity to work more closely with the full-time referees.

“I’m thrilled to be given this chance and am looking forward to what is going to be a steep learning curve,” said Child.

“Training with the other referees and going through the same rigorous assessment and evaluation process is going to make me a better referee and improve my performance.

“I’m very grateful to the RFL and to Leeds City Council for agreeing to give me this chance.”

Child has been a Grade One referee for two years and in recent seasons has been touch judge in the World Cup Final, the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final and the Engage Super League Grand Final.

Stuart Cummings, the RFL’s Match Officials Director, said the appointment of Child would bring valuable competition for places among the sport’s top referees.

“Although James is relatively young he brings with him considerable experience, both at club and international level, and it’s great to have him on board as part of the team,” said Cummings.

“Even though he is only with us two days each week, that time will allow us to address the areas of his performance that need work to make him a better referee.”

The RFL has also promoted two referees to Grade One for 2010, both of whom will be part of The Co-operative Championship Referees Squad this year.

Tim Roby, 20, from Clayton le Woods, and Clint Sharrad, 32, from Manchester, have moved up a grade after a successful season refereeing in the Reserve Grade.

Both officials have gained considerable experience as touch judges in Engage Super League in recent seasons.

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