Nathan Mattick, a third-year student at the National Star College, is considered to be the first ever wheelchair-using referee. People from his neighborhood and even from his school are amazed of how enthusiastic Nathan is as he closely watches matches and games to make sure that the rules of the game are adhered to.
Nathan has always loved football. Since he was a very young kid, he would imagine himself playing in the football field, giving his all in order to win and become the champion. However, his dream of becoming a great athlete was concluded after he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a group of movement disorders that appear in early childhood.
Because of his condition, Nathan’s movements are limited and he needs to use a wheelchair. But this 19-year-old’s desire to be there in the sports arena is just something that neither his condition nor wheelchair can stop. So, he thought that the next best thing to do is become a referee, and through that, he can watch closely the games of his favorite teams.
However, Nathan discovered that no one in a mobility device had ever qualified to become a referee before. Still hopeful, the teenager asked his school for help. The National Star College, a school dedicated and committed to helping people with disabilities realize their potential as active and equal citizens in control of their own lives, gladly agreed to help and support Nathan with his goal.
The college’s sports department helped the aspiring referee to make the grade and qualify for the position. Nathan then took and passed the qualifying tests with Gloucestershire Football Association.
Today, Nathan is a qualified referee and officiates matches and games both in able-bodied and adaptive categories. He can also officiate indoor and outdoor games. He is truly one amazing guy and he inspires a lot of people.