Scottish Women's Football launches recruitment drive as they encourage women to take of referee courses

FIFA assistant referee Vikki Allan, Gavin Mochan, MD of s1jobs, Scottish Women’s Football CEO Aileen Campbell and FIFA referee Lorraine Watson (Colin Mearns)
FIFA assistant referee Vikki Allan, Gavin Mochan, MD of s1jobs, Scottish Women’s Football CEO Aileen Campbell and FIFA referee Lorraine Watson (Colin Mearns)

Scottish Women’s Football has launched a campaign to encourage women and girls to take up refereeing courses.

Along with the Scottish FA, the body is looking to recruit more female officials to provide much-needed visibility as well as officials for women's football matches.

The campaign has been launched during Scottish Women and Girls in Sport week 2022, and ahead of Hampden hosting a Women's World Cup qualifier against Austria on Thursday night.

The scheme, in partnership with s1jobs, will provide female-only in-person training and online courses in refereeing, and this will now be supported by additional funding to remove the cost of registering for courses and referee kit.

Colin Mearns

SFA head of referee operations Crawford Allan said: "We are committed to growing the number of referees with women with good knowledge of the game, through our female-only training sessions and mentoring.

"This initiative with Scottish Women’s Football and s1jobs will help remove some of the financial barriers that prevent some women getting involved.”

Kylie Cockburn made history in 2014 when she became the first female official to referee at a men's top flight match.

She acted as an assistant referee in a match between Hearts and St Mirren and has since run the line in a number of top flight and play-off matches, as well as in the latter stages of the Women's Champions League.

Scottish FA and FIFA referee Lorraine Watson, who officiated at the Women’s European Championships in England this summer, wants to see more people follow that path: “Refereeing is enormously rewarding and has opened so many doors for me.

"I’m delighted that more opportunities for women to become referees are being opened thanks to this partnership. The more visibility and gametime we have, the more respect and opportunities will arise.”