Premier League referee Mike Jones was certainly kept busy when he visited Peterborough last week.
Jones was the latest guest to attend one of the popular Young Referees Days organised by the Peterborough Referees Association and he spoke to hundreds of youngsters during a full day of activities in and around the city.
He visited five schools, refereed a primary schools festival and was lead speaker at The Fleet in the evening where close to 200 parents and friends gathered for the largest young referees event of its kind in the country.
The day started at 10am at Middleton Primary School where two classes enjoyed the opportunity of being a match official under the expert eyes of Jones, Peterborough RA chairman Rob Windle, Neil Smith, Sarah Grundy and Stewart Francis.
Next it was off to Eyrescroft Primary, also in Bretton, then a mid-morning question-and-answer session took place at Queen Katherine’s Academy where sports students had the opportunity to gain an insight into what’s it like being a top-flight official.
The afternoon session was at Park Lane Primary School, Whittlesey, where the whole school assembled for a fun session.
Then it was swiftly on to Sir Harry Smith Community College where more students grilled the official.
Outside on the synthetic pitch, four primary schools - Alderman Jacobs, Coates, New Road and Park Lane - played in front of the town mayor Ralph Butcher.
At The Fleet, referees and parents from four counties received expert tuition from top tutors and a presentation from Jones .
To cap the evening the certificates to recent course participants were awarded as well as prestigious awards.
Peterborough RA Young Referee of the season - Jordan Todd.
Peterborough RA Referee of the season - James Cliffe.
Peterborough Select Group Referee of the season - Jared Carver.
The Outstanding Contribution to Refereeing Award - Roger Ellison.
Organiser Robert Windle was delighted with the day.
He said: “We are very grateful to Mike Jones and the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) for a full day of Premier League input and also to Northamptonshire FA and The Referees Association Youth Council for their sponsorship which enabled us to have over 800 students and referees involved in the day.”