The first group of nineteen Spanish referees have received their Level 1 qualification following a three-day visit from RLEF tutor Phil Smith in Valencia. The training course supports the first ever Spanish championship, which kicked off in late March between five clubs.
Smith, a member of the RLEF’s first Match Official Development Squad, which was formed in February, said: “The delegates were all players from clubs spread across the region and their passion and commitment for the game shone through. With their know-how of the basics improving they can now go back and help raise standards in their own domestic competition which is making rapid progress in such a short period of time.”
After the course, Smith observed a Spanish Championship match between Irreductibles/CREM and CRAC which the home side won 38-30, with three of the course graduates officiating the first half and Smith refereeing the second.
Asociacion Espagna de Rugby League general secretary Aitor Davilas is pleased with the progress being made by rugby league’s newest nation: “The press in Spain is talking about rugby league more than ever,” he noted. Phil’s work has helped everyone become more aware of the sport and of our positive vision as an organization.”