Patsy Andrews, a successful level 6 female referee from Leicester, shared her thoughts and experience during the Black history month.
“I am a Black woman, a mother and grandmother of African-Caribbean heritage.” is how Patsy starts her story.
She took up refereeing at a time when fathers were considered to have a more important role in children’s football games. Proud mother and Black woman, Patsy decided to set a positive example for her children and not only. It’s been 14 years since she started to inspire children and their families.
As Patsy believes that “If you try your hardest, then that’s ok”, she tries to teach others that everybody can make mistakes and that’s fine; you should just always give your best and learn to respect others.
She has refereed many tournaments all over England throughout the years. She’s usually out there, refereeing, most of the weekends, and midweek, too, if needed. She also has international experience, as she refereed in Minnesota, USA a few years ago, and was offered games in Antigua, as she travelled to New York regularly.
One of her most special memories is when she participated in the Special Olympics in 2009, in Leicester. It was an important moment in her career, that enabled her to learn even more about herself, and that brought her participations in many inclusive tournaments.
Patsy proudly tells how she had the chance, in Leicester, to referee the final alongside her son and her oldest nephew, with her son in the middle. That was the pinnacle of her career, as she says.
She went on to explain how important it is for Black people to be present at every level in a society. She wants to inspire communities showing that you can achieve anything you want and make a difference.
“Stay strong and focused” is her motto, and she is a true inspiration for everyone who gets to meet her.