THE Norway Cup is an international youth football tournament which has been held annually since 1972 in Oslo, Norway and is the world's second largest international football tournament.
The format consists of tournaments for ages 10 through 19 and for both genders.
This seasons’ tournament was held between July 27 and August 2 with matches beginning at the crack of dawn starting at 8am and some not finishing until well after 10pm.
This season’s tournament saw 53 countries take part with 1,651 teams, 36,652 players, 70 observers and 400 referees - one of which came from Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwyd in Barry.
Josh Taylor sat his referees’ exam in the spring of 2012 and began refereeing in the Vale of Glamorgan AFL Junior League almost straight away.
Progressing into Senior football at the start of the 2013-14 season Josh has just completed his first full Senior season - and he's still only 17.
Taking up the invite Josh ventured to Oslo where he found - unexpectedly - extremely hot weather. Countries participating come as far afield as Uruguay, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Bangladesh as well as all the European countries – including Wales.
What he did find was, as usual, an excellently organised tournament and invaluable experience to take into the new season.
Josh is not alone as a referee in this age group - there are Jack Phillips, Sion Misra and Rhys Russell already refereeing and, so far this season, they will be joined by Lewis Jones.
The Vale of Glamorgan Referees Society are excited by the influx of these referees coming through the system.
They are ably supported, and a big thanks once again, by the VoGRS sponsor Mark Barrett of RIM Motors. His sponsorship enables all members to have sponsored match day clothing and we are the first Society in Wales to be allowed to wear their sponsors’ logo on their match kit.
This is a great time and plenty of opportunities for youth referees. The VoGRS spends time mentoring, coaching and assisting to ensure they referee to the best of their ability - all of which increases as their experience grows.
For anyone wishing to come along and start refereeing contact the VoGRS either via their website www.pitchero.com/clubs/valeofglamorganrefereessociety or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who knows - you could be in Norway next summer!