Football Referees

New Referee Bursary

Funding aims to provide more opportunities for under-represented groups to get into refereeing

We want to ensure that people from all parts of our football community have the opportunity to become match officials  

We are proud that Hertfordshire is home to a diverse football community and work hard to create a positive, safe, and inclusive environment for all. At the same time, we recognise that this diversity is not always reflected in every area of the game and are committed to delivering better representation across our sport.

For example, while 12% of the registered players in Hertfordshire are female, they make up just 6% of our referees. Similarly just 5% of Hertfordshire match officials come from BAME backgrounds compared to 19% of the wider population.

With help from The FA we have secured funding aimed at tackling inequalities across the game locally, helping to ensure that football in Hertfordshire offers opportunities for all. As part of this we are pleased to announce a new bursary supporting referee diversity.

This will be available throughout the remainder of the current season and is designed to assist those from under-represented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds who wouldn’t otherwise be able to start their refereeing journey.

In addition to reducing the cost of taking The FA Referee Course for those where this is an issue, we also want to better understand other barriers that prevent a more diverse range of people taking up the whistle and help tackle these with different kinds of support.

For example, we might look to provide tailored sessions or additional mentoring if these were seen as crucial to delivering a more representative referee workforce.

Find out more and apply

Anyone wishing to take advantage of this bursary should fill in the relevant section of the Expression of Interest Form that must be completed prior to booking on The FA Referee Course. Our team will then contact you with further details.

For more information on upcoming course dates in Hertfordshire, along with links to the free online learning you need to undertake before you can book these face-to-face sessions, please visit our dedicated Referee Course page.


For more details on this bursary and what other support we can offer prospective match officials, please contact Gemma Smith.