Football: Middlesex FA match official Jawahir Roble collects FA Respect Award
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Middlesex FA match official Jawahir Roble collected her FA Respect Match Official of the Year award when the ceremony was held earlier this month.
The winners of the prizes had been announced in July, before the prize giving formally took place in September.
Roble is a 23-year-old Muslim referee, a youth leader with Middlesex FA and a volunteer with football charity ‘Kick It Out’.
She was nominated for the Respect Match Official award by Tom Perez from the football education charity ‘Football Beyond Borders’, who she also gives up her free time for.
Perez underlined why Roble won this award, commenting: “JJ (Jawahir) commands respect from everyone because she treats everyone fairly, with respect and dignity, and she generally has a smile on her face.
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“She is inspiring women and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to become coaches, referees and players.
“There are not enough female or BAME role models who get the respect that they deserve.
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“JJ has been a volunteer with Football Beyond Borders for many years, setting up our first community programme for women, but also recently volunteering to referee our biggest ever showcase match at the FBB Community Cup at Dulwich Hamlet.”
Roble added: “Refereeing isn’t easy, but when you do it well you get respect. You need to earn the respect, definitely.
“When I’d turn up at games they’d all raise an eyebrow. Of course, they’re surprised to see a Muslim girl refereeing, but I take charge, I show them what I’m about, I just say ‘Listen, I love this game as much as you do, you respect me and I’ll respect you, let’s do this!’”
The winners of the awards were decided by a panel of judges that included Stephanie Moore, the founder of the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK; Troy Townsend, Kick It Out education manager; and Nathan French, the project manager for National Respect.
The winner of the other 11 awards also collected their prizes at the awards ceremony when it was held back in September.