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Female Officials Programme launched
 Women's Football News 28 Nov 2008
The London Football Association, in conjunction with Arsenal Girls' Centre of Excellence, officially launched an innovative new programme this week to provide support for London FA's female referees.
The London FA Female Officials Programme will consist of a female officials group that will be organised by a Level 3 referee with extensive experience in the women's game. The group will meet on a quarterly basis to discuss a range of relevant topics, observe experienced referees or listen to a guest speaker.
From this group, around ten female officials will be selected to receive ongoing mentoring and the opportunity to officiate at Arsenal Girls' Centre of Excellence and receive feedback on their performance and support from experienced referees.
The official launch of the scheme took place on 25th November at the FA Headquarters at Soho Square, and was attended by a number of both experienced and newly qualified female officials along with representatives from Arsenal Ladies and the FA.
London FA's Women's and Girls' Officer for North London, Natalie Huntley, commented: "There is a genuine sense of excitement surrounding this programme. We are really pleased with the success of the launch and the fact that key people from Arsenal and the FA were in attendance shows the importance of female officials and their development. We're really looking forward to working with these officials and helping them to progress their refereeing careers."
London FA's Women's and Girls' Officer for South London, Emma Barnes, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for referees who have recently qualified or have little match experience, and from the response at the launch I think this is going to be very popular."
There is still time to get involved with the programme and any female officials wishing to do so should contact London FA's Women's and Girls' Officers:
Natalie Huntley - natalie.huntley@londonfa.com or (07912) 050374
Emma Barnes - emma.barnes@londonfa.com or (07921) 050375

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