At just 13 years old, Jasmine Fuller has already made an impressive mark in the world of football. Hailing from Glen Innes and currently a Year 8 student, Jasmine's story is nothing short of inspirational.
Jasmine's love for football started at the age of four, and she's been unstoppable ever since. She confesses, "It is all I do in my spare time. I'm always kicking the ball around." The introduction of a Futsal competition in Glen Innes further filled her passion, promoting her to sign up and diversify her football experience.
The Scholarship Opportunity
Jasmine's desire to become a referee began a few years back, but age limitations initially stood in her way. However, Glen Innes's Football committee devised a brilliant workaround: older kids, like Jasmine, could referee games for younger kids. This initiative gave her the chance to dip her toes into the world of officiating, and she quickly fell in love with it. Reflecting on her journey, she shares, "I wanted to be a Referee a couple of years ago, but I was too young... this year I was old enough to do the Level 4." But with not many local courses available, Jasmine's mother reached out to Northern NSW Football and discovered a scholarship that could give her the opportunity to strengthen her skills.
Through the scholarship, Jasmine gained a deeper understanding of the game. "As I had previously done some training on refereeing before, I got to go through the rules of the game again and learnt all the new rules that I wasn't aware of," she said. This knowledge, she believes, has given her eagerness to continue refereeing and move up the ranks as she grows older.
To Refereeing First Grade Games
Jasmine's journey as a referee took an exciting turn when she started officiating first-grade games. Reflecting on this newfound role, she says, "It was hard to get referees to travel to Glen Innes, and that was one of the reasons I wanted to get my Level 4." Her primary motivation was to bridge the gap and ensure the games in her community received the officiating they deserved.
She began by running the line for her stepdad's second-grade team, an experience that provided valuable exposure to different referees and their insights. Jasmine fondly remembers how her hard work paid off, "Near the end of the season, there was a Zoom call for referees to discuss the finals, and Bob Jex (the referee coordinator for Armidale) said that was one of the reasons he picked me for the first-grade game as me getting on that call showed I was keen."
Jasmine's dedication culminated in her officiating the first-grade Grand Final. This was a momentous occasion for her, and despite her nerves, she recalls the match with fondness, "It was a very enjoyable game, and the crowd was the biggest at a game I had reffed at, so I was a bit nervous."
The NSW Football Legacy provides opportunities to undertake referee courses free of charge, as part of the Women in Football Scholarship Program. Scholarships provide young talent with the opportunity to harness their skills, learn the rules of the game and to equip themselves with the knowledge and expertise to pursue a career in refereeing.
This web story is by the NSW Government under the NSW Football Legacy Program.
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