Preston College greeted Premier League referee Howard Webb this week to take part in a question and answer session with sports students and to talk to them about his career highlights.
FIFA listed referee Natalie Walker, a college tutor, asked Webb to give students insights into the world of professional sport that would be of benefit to those on the College’s sports programmes.
Webb, who refereed the 2010 World Cup Final, spent about an hour speaking with students about the hard work and commitment he has had to put in to his own career as a top flight referee, with the aim of inspiring the students to achieve in their own endeavours.
On the session, Webb commented: “I’ve known Natalie for a long time and when she asked me to come down and talk to the students I was more than happy to do so.
“I’ve enjoyed being at Preston College and being able to show young people who are starting out on their pathway, what can be achieved with the right attitude and commitment.
“It’s not about me telling them to become a professional referee but more about performing and preparing in order to achieve their own personal goals and for them to realise that while it takes time to get to the highest level , once you get there it really is worth it.”
Sports tutor Natalie Walker said: “I’m pleased that Howard agreed to come and speak to the students because I think it really helps them to put their learning into context to hear from professionals involved in sport at all levels.
“Howard has achieved so much as a referee and is one of the best and most experienced around so they will have benefited massively from what he had to say to them.
“What Howard was talking about links into a number of the units that the students study, this backs up the teaching that they undertake on their course units such as fitness testing & training, sports nutrition, psychology and rules, regulations and officiating.”
Lisa Forbes, a sports student added: “I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation as I saw a different side to officials, it was interesting to learn that referees train daily and are fitness tested regularly and to see how much preparation for games and tournaments they undertake such as altitude training in preparation for the World Cup.
“He helped us to think about having courage and self belief in our decisions, this was a fantastic opportunity and we all now have an understanding of what it takes to be a top level official.”
Photo Caption: Howard speaks to students at the College (image by Brandon Jackson)