ARLRA

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AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE REFEREES' ASSOCIATION INC.

OUR LIFE MEMBERS

On the 19th November 2011 the ARLRA was honoured to induct to new members of the refereeing world into the ranks of the ARLRA Life Members when the Chairman, Mr Dennis Spagarino, presented them with their badges and plaques at the AssociationŐs Annual Dinner.
Barrie KeenanhanBarrie Keenahan has been a member of the Illawarra RLRA since 1964 and has over forty-six years of commitment to refereeing in the Illawarra. He was awarded Life Membership of that Association in 1985, giving him twenty five years of service to refereeing as a Life Member. Barrie has committed his time to refereeing at all level as an active member as well as an administrator and in the later years, coaching referees. Barrie has also contributed to the ARLRA through his involvement in the Level 1 and 2 Referee Coaches Courses. It is also through these courses that Barrie has become a mentor to countless referees and referees coaches from across NSW and Australia
Eddie Ward (right) is no doubt a prominent refereeing identity who has been a member of the Brisbane RLRA since 1971 and a Life Member of that Association for 20 years. His on-field record is the envy of most referees; he has refereed multiple Test and State-of-Origins, as well as Grand Finals, at the elite levels of the game. Off the field, he has contributed significantly to the development of referees, particularly in Queensland. This has had positive ramifications in regard to recruitment and retention of referees across the state.Eddie Ward

On 20 November 2010 the ARLRA inducted two well known refereeing personalities into the ranks of its life members when the Association Chairman, Mr Dennis Spagarino, presented life membership badges to Mr Nick Best and Mr Kevin Riolo.
Nick BestNick Best of the South Coast/Group 7 Rugby League Referees' Association is the current President of the CRLRA and Deputy Chairman of the ARLRA. He is a life member of the South Coast/Group 7 Referees of which he was President for twelve years, the CRLRA and the CRL as well as a member of the CRL General Committee and the CRL Appointments Board. He has served as the CRLRA's head for the past thirty years after having been Deputy President for the two years prior to that. He was a foundation member of the NRAS and has served on that body since 1992 and was a member of the planning committee set up to establish the ARLRA and has sat on the Board of our Association since its inception.
Kevin Riolo (right) is a life member of the Illawarra Rugby League Referees' Association as well as their representative on the Illawarra Rugby League Board of Management. He is also a life member of the CRLRA, of which he has served as that Association's Secretary for the past thirty-four years, as well as a life member of the CRL. Like Nick he was a foundation member of the NRAS and a member of the steering committee set up to establish the ARLRA of which he has been a Board member since its inception. He is also a member of the Australian Rugby League Development Council.Kevin Riolo
Both of these gentlemen are truly deserving of life membership of the Australian refereeing peak organisation for their outstanding contribution to refereeing which between them totals approximately ninety years. They have made significant contributions in the area of referee coaching and development both formally and informally and this has included coaching visits to overseas locations on behalf of the ARL. All of this is in addition to their onfield contributions to the game in that both are former CRL representative referees of significant note and have controlled numerous top grade grand finals in their own district associations.

On 21 November 2009 two new deserving members of the refereeing fraternity joined the ranks of the ARLRA life members when they were presented with their badges by the Chairman of the ARLRA, Mr Dennis Spagarino.
Tim BlissTim Bliss of the Toowoomba Rugby League Referees' Association is a former QLD State Cup referee who has reached the heights of the game as both a referee and touch judge officiating at Test and State-of-Origin level. But apart from his on-field exploits Tim has made a significant contribution at the administrative and coaching level within his own association and that of his state. Theer are too many of today's top referees who walk away from their craft after their active days are over but Tim is not one of them. As a regional coordinator for QLD he overseas the development of some of that state's up and coming young referees and the future of our game will be well served as a result.
Richard Johnston (right) is one of our game's legends and a prolific creator of coaching and development resources for referees. There is practically nothing that Ritchie doesn't know about rugby league and refereeing and yet he is proud of the fact that he is forever learning new things about both. His contribution to refereeing development is probably unsurpassed in that the bulk of the tools that we have in our refereeing education arsenal today can be seen as attributable to Ritchie and his long time fellow referee developer, Mick Stone, both of whom are valued coaching and development consultants to the ARLRA. Ritchie is particularly interested in the development of younger referees and has had significant success in helping them reach the peak of officiating and at the same time aiding in their development them as good people. Ritchie has made a truly massive contribution to refereeing in Australia and overseas.Richard Johnston

On 6 December 2008 the ARLRA inducted two more very worthy referees into its esteemed group of life members.
Michael StoneMichael Stone of the Western Suburbs District Rugby League Referees' Association is probably one of the best known whistleblowers of recent years, not only becasue of his on-field record but also because of the significant amount of work that he has put into the development of refereeing education that has benefitted referees from all around the nation. He has the reached the pinnacle of his craft having officiated in grand finals at the elite level, State-of-Origin fixtures and Test Matches. Through all of this he has not lost touch with refereeing at the grass roots level and has continued to offer his services to coach and develop younger up and coming referees from both the city and the bush. Michael is truly the epitome of what it means to be a life member of the ARLRA.
Don Courts (right) is from the Penrith District Rugby League Referees' Association of which he is a life member and past Vice-President and President. Over the past thirty-five years tehre have been many a very successful referee from the Penrith District gone on to bigger and better achievements under Don's astute guidance and the Penrith Association itself has been at the forefront of refereeing due largely to Don's leadership. He is one of the truly remarkable men involved in refereeing today.Don Courts

The 28th of October 2006 saw another two ARLRA life memberships presented to well known refereeing identities by Association Chairman Nick Euclid OAM.
Dennis SpagarinoDennis Spagarino of the Western Suburbs District Rugby League Referees' Association has not only reached the elite level of refereeing through his appointments to First Grade level in the ARL, but has also been instrumental in the development of many of the top grade referees that we have in the Australian game today through his involvement in training and development within the NSWRL structure.
Bob Styles (right) is from the Canterbury-Bankstown District Rugby League Referees' Association of which he is a life member and past Vice-President and President. He is also a life member of the NSWRLRA and was a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal in 2000. A former top grade touch judge, Bob was one of the driving forces in the establishment of the ARLRA in that he served as its inaugural CEO from 2001 to 2003. Just like the life mebership recipients before them, both of these gentlemen have made enormous contributions to the development of refereeing in Australia.Bob Styles

On the 20th of November 2004 we saw two more refereeing legends presented with life membership of the ARLRA by Association Chairman Nick Euclid OAM.
Noel BissettNoel Bissett of the Canberra District Rugby League Referees' Association has had a long distinguished career both on the field as a representative referee and off the field as an administrator. He has controlled 275 NSW Country First Grade centres and over 100 Winfield Cup fixtures as well as matches involving visiting international teams before becoming an NRL video referee in the late 1990's. Noel has been awarded life membership of Group 8 Country Rugby League, Canberra & District RL Referees Association, Canberra & District Rugby League (Raiders) and the NSWRL Referees Association in recognition of his tremendous contribution to refereeing.
Doug Wintin (right) is from the Cronulla-Sutherland District Rugby League Referees' Association of which he has been a member for 40 years and a life member for 29 years. He is also a life member of the NSWRLRA, NSWRL and Cronulla-Sutherland Junior Rugby League. He was a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal in 2001. Doug's refereeing resume reads like a who's who with enormous involvement as an active referee, an administrator and a coach, all at both local and NSW level. Both of these gentlemen are truly worthy recipients.Doug Wintin

Three more life memberships of the ARLRA were presented by Chairman Nick Euclid OAM on the 14th of November 2003 when Kevin Jeffes, Tony Young and Bruce Chapman joined our two existing life members.
Kevin JeffesThe first recipient for 2003 was Kevin Jeffes (dec) from the Parramatta District Rugby League Referees' Association who made an outstanding contribution to not only his local association but also to the NSWRLRA over a period exceeding forty years. He had been a coach at junior and senior levels, Advisory Board member at district and representative levels and held numerous positions in refereeing development. Kevin passed away in March 2010.
Tony Young's rugby league resume is awesome and covers nearly sixty years from the time he started his playing career in country NSW. His life memberships include NSW Group 9 Referees, NSW Group 9 Rugby League, NSW CRLRA, Riverina Referees, Riverina Schoolboys' Football Carnival, Boorowa Junior Rugby League Club, NSW Group 9 Junior Rugby League, Young & District Junior Rugby League, NSW Woodbridge Cup Rugby League, Young Junior Rugby League Club, NSW Group 12 Referees and NSW Woodbridge Cup Referees. Truly a remarkable record and deserving of life membership of the national Association.Tony Young
Bruce ChapmanBruce Chapman was a development officer with the NSW CRLRA and a life member of Canberra & District Referees' Association, NSW Group 8 Rugby League and the NSWCRLRA. He is also a recipient of the Denis Braybrook Award "For Service to the Game and for Junior Referees". As well as an outstanding record of on field achievements including numerous representative NSW Country representative fixtures, City v Country and matches featuring visiting international touring teams, Bruce's contribution on the administration side has also been enormous. He is a former Deputy Chairman of the NSW CRLRA and member of the former NSWRL Exam Board. He has held the positions of President and Secretary of NSW Group 8 Referees as well as being the Chairman of the NSW CRLRA Coaching Panel. His involvement in the organisation of the NSW CRLRA annual workshops is legendary.

The 15th of November 2002 saw the presentation of the ARLRA's first two life memberships when Association Chairman Nick Euclid OAM presented this prestigious honour to Ian McCall and Eric Cox OAM. Both Ian and Eric have made outstanding contributions to refereeing in Australia with the fruits of their efforts being evident in local, national and international arenas.
Ian McCallIan McCall (left) is a former President of the New South Wales Referees' Association (of which he is a current life member) and was also the founding Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ARLRA. He already holds life membership of the Parramatta District Rugby League Referees' Association and the New South Wales Rugby League. His 26 years of active refereeing saw him reach the top as a touch judge with appointments to Great Britain v. Australia test matches in 1979 and 1984, Queensland v. New South Wales State-of-Origin in 1981 and Winfield Cup First Grade Grand Finals in 1980, 1981 and 1984.
Eric Cox OAM (dec) (right) was a legend in rugby league circles. A former top grade referee and director of referees for the elite Australian competition, he was a life member of the St George Referees' Association, the New South Wales Referees' Association and the New South Wales Rugby League where he was a Vice-President and served on a number of its committees. Eric passed away in November 2006.Eric Cox

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