Joshua Latus - Official of the Year 2011 – Cornwall Sports Awards
Joshua Latus was last night (12.11.11) awarded Official of the Year at the Cornwall Sports Partnership Awards for his dedication and commitment to refereeing. He was one of four candidates short listed for the award but came out as the overall winner. He was presented his award by Phil de Glanville former international rugby player.
Josh asked at the age of 13 if he could be a rugby referee. He was given permission to undertake the course 2 weeks before his 14th birthday (14 yrs being minimum age normally). He passed the course and started refereeing the young teams at Launceston Rugby Club the following season. He was accepted by both the players and parents and excelled. By the end of the season he was official referee for the U8 team on their tour to Bournemouth and refereed a full tournament. He also refereed several Cornwall tournament finals including U12 between Redruth and Camborne (local rivals). At the beginning of the following season he was asked to referee a game between Launceston senior side and Exeter University. He was the smallest person on the pitch but had total control. He even dealt with a nasty injury on the field and told the teams in no uncertain terms was he prepared to accept foul language on the pitch. He joined Plymouth Referee Society and started to be assessed for progression. He is now a level 11 referee. He has refereed league games and tournaments both men and women. At the age of 16 this is an amazing achievement and one we don't think has been achieved by anyone else including Luke Pearce who started a little later in life. He has now asked the RFU if he can be a referee ambassador to encourage other young people to become referees. He is also starting to work with Truro College (his further education option for Sept) to set up a referee section to the rugby academy.
Official of the Year - The winner of this award will demonstrate a committment as on official, umpire or referee together with committment to their own personal development. There will be evidence of development, achievement and leading by example. (Winners from the Club and Volunteering Category will be put forward to the BBC South West Awards where the awards are aligned.)
BTW - Tom Rawlings was nominated for two coaching awards for his work with Cornwall Rugby.