SPORTS AWARDS: Search on for top referees

Seeing red. Ian Walker of Specsavers pictured with local leage referee Frank Reid.
Seeing red. Ian Walker of Specsavers pictured with local leage referee Frank Reid.

COME on ref!

That was the call today from Specsavers, the sponsors of the referees category in the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards.

But the popular opticians is not questioning the eyesight of the men and women in the middle.

In, fact, they want to reward Hartlepool’s excellent referees – and officials in many other fields – who do their duties because of their love of the sport.

Specsavers bosses were delighted to back the awards and specifically asked if they could sponsor the referee’s category.

Store director Ian Walker said: “They do a great job and they are often maligned.

“As someone once said, ‘you often don’t notice the ref unless they make a bad decision’

“If the referee does make a bad decision, you usually get thousands of people shouting the immortal words ‘should have gone to Specsavers’.”

Do you know a referee, umpire, judge or administrator who has enjoyed outstanding success or simply makes a great contribution to his or her’s sport?

If so, they could become an award winner just by being nominated.

Our awards is now well underway with an appeal for entrants to the competition.

We have already had early interest in the contest and we will be revealing more about them in the coming days.

Numerous different companies have agreed to back the competition. Among them is Specsavers which has an award-winning branch in Hartlepool.

It won the Investment in Training award at the Hartlepool Business Awards this year.

Mr Walker added: “We are really pleased to be involved in the Sports Awards, especially the first one.

“Community is very important to us. We have got good sports people in the store and it is important to be supporting our athletes in their chosen field.”

It’s time to get nominating for these awards.

Click HERE for the nomination form.

There are 13 categories and the competition will culminate in a glittering finale in early October.

You have until September 13 to put nominate before we begin the process of whittling down the entrants.