At the 2023 Cup Finals Roberto Rigante was awarded the Volleyball England Referee of the Year award. Roberto is a great friend to Riga and has refereed countless games for us as well as supporting the Club throughout. That’s why we nominated him for this well deserved award.
Congratulations Roberto! Read the full nomination below for all the reasons that Roberto is great 🙂
Coventry & Warwick Riga VC nominate Roberto Rigante as Referee of the Year. His contribution and dedication to volleyball and the development of refereeing in the country over the last year is second to none. What’s more he’s also the future of refereeing. We think he deserves to be rewarded – here’s why!
Give us a….
O – Oh so much more – His commitment doesn’t stop there! Roberto has done many events in Kettering such as the U16 last 8 in 2022, while in 2023 he has attended U18 Last 8s and the U15 Last 8s in Feb this year. He’s a great example of an official keen to support Volleyball England’s major events strategy and was part of the volunteer team at the Cup finals in 2022 and has been invited to the 2023 ones as well this April.
B – Birmingham 2022 – It was Our Time to Shine and Roberto was one of our dedicated NTOs at Birmingham 2022. To take part in B2022 he qualified specifically as a Beach volleyball referee and committed even more time to a number of training events in preparation for the Games (both as Referee and/or NTO). He was an integral part of the team for the UK Beach Volleyball tour (both in 2021 and 2022 including the finals), the European qualification in Edinburgh (Sep 2021) and the amazing Qualification tournament (May 2022) at Crystal Palace. Roberto is a true part of the sport’s B2022 legacy and is planning to be more involved with beach volleyball going forward as soon as the Beach Volley season starts again 🙂
E – Expertise – This year Roberto was upgraded from Grade 3N to Grade 2 demonstrating his continuous improvement of his refereeing skills and abilities. His commitment above demonstrates how he’s continuously developed his own skills, knowledge and experience. But what’s more he supports and motivates others less experienced to keep refereeing and to develop their skills. We’ve witnessed that first hand – where he has less experienced referees doing a fixture with him we always see him at the end providing feedback, tips and advice (on the best ways to practice, to improve their skills and to be observed to get upgraded). Roberto does this in a very positive and encouraging way. His style and approach is such that it would encourage anyone to want to be involved more in refereeing. It’s really clear to us Roberto loves coaching and mentoring young referees and has a lot to offer there going forward too.
R – Real nice guy – Every time we see Roberto he has a really positive spirit – he always refs with a smile and he genuinely enjoys it. He brings a real professionalism to everything that he does and is an absolute credit to the refereeing community. It’s very rare we contact Roberto and he says he can’t help. He goes above and beyond often to help at very short notice. A great example this year was when our appointed referee didn’t turn up for a triangular game. Roberto was already refereeing in Tamworth that day – but on hearing of our plight he finished his two games there and came straight to Coventry to help at our final game and support the less experienced referee at that time. It’s clear Roberto genuinely cares about refereeing and improving the standards across the sport.
T – The future – As a young developing referee Roberto is part of the future for our sport and he has great ambitions! Whilst Roberto doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria to become an international referee, he is really keen to be more widely involved with refereeing and with international events – fully supporting Volleyball England’s major events strategy. Roberto describes his three main ambitions as:
1. Participating in an international competition ie. NEVZA – get him on your list 🙂
2. Identifying opportunities to develop beach volleyball further particularly at the legacy B2022 facilities – Roberto is moving (back) to the Midlands so keen to support Volleyball England in its beach volleyball ambitions in the area
3. Having an active role within Volleyball England’s infrastructure to identify referees ambitions and to help them in achieving it (ensuring referees remain motivated and engaged through their pathway journey). He’s already shared ideas in this space with Gillian
O – Overall Amazing – Overall we can’t thank Roberto enough for his support as a referee and can’t think of anyone that deserves this nomination more for both his work over the last 12 months but also looking forward to his future impact on the sport. At the U18 Last 8s he gave our U18 girls team an inspiring talk at the end of the competition about their progress and how proud they should be of their achievements – inspiring those young ladies in their volleyball journeys. He’s always keen to make his contribution to spread the values and the goodness of volleyball as well as being a referee that genuinely cares for the future of the game.