Whether you are playing, watching, coaching or officiating we want our sporting events to be a positive, enjoyable and rewarding experience. In order to achieve this, all we need is a little REFSPECT!

The REFSPECT campaign promotes a positive and encouraging approach to competitive school sport where the participants can perform and learn in a fun, safe and supportive environment. The campaign aims to remove any negative, abusive or unsupportive behaviours from all those involved.

By improving the environment for those performing, coaching and officiating we hope this will further develop their ability, commitment and interest in sport.

We actively encourage all schools to offer continuous support of the campaign and its importance as a safeguarding tool, both within their own school and at all sporting events.


Safe and Positive Environment

All children have the right to be able to take part in PE and sport without abuse, in a nurturing, growth mindset environment where they feel confident to make their own decisions and learn from their own ‘marvellous mistakes’. Participants and officials should never be told by spectators and others, what to do and when to do it during their performance or game.

Coaches should do their best to prepare players for their performance in advance, offering guidance, coordination, strategies and support whilst allowing children to make their own choices during the game. The coaching role is most constructive when they question their students after the performance around the learning that happened, in order to help them discover how to improve for themselves.

Spectators can enjoy watching their friends and family taking part and can make the event much more exciting with positive and encouraging, generic support. Spectators should not call out specific orders or advice (‘shoot’, ‘pass’, ‘go faster’), whilst the children are playing their game. Nor should they shout anything unconstructive (‘you’re too slow’), derogatory/abusive comments or actively show and gesture their disappointment when a ‘marvellous mistake’ has been made by a player or official.

If there are concerns that an official is unsure of any rules or expectations then the school staff should approach the MSSP team to put forward their concern so that, if appropriate, MSSP may work more closely with the official to help them to develop and learn. Officials should not be questioned or approached directly by anyone else, in particular when they are young leaders who are also at the event to learn and develop.

Our ‘REFESPECT Codes of Conduct’ are to be adhered to and will be actively reinforced for the safety and welfare for all spectators, staff, officials and players. It is vital that our young people enjoy participating and officiating at our events and programmes in order to keep them engaged in sport and physical activity.

Schools are responsible for the behaviour of their adults and children and any concerning behaviour will be reported to the Head Teacher for that school as part of our safeguarding protocol.


Within schools, staff are encouraged to raise awareness of REFSPECT and the ‘School Games’ Values of Respect, Determination, Passion, Self-Belief, Teamwork and Honesty by using our REFSPECT resources. Our Codes of Conduct and Award certificates can be used to promote expectations and encourage children during PE sessions as well as for individual achievements and group recognition.

At our events, all spectators, staff, officials and players will be reminded of our expectations. Teams and young leaders will be encouraged to use their REFSPECT vote to nominate a team or individual who have played in the spirit of the REFSPECT campaign or have displayed outstanding moments of fair-play and sportsperson-ship. These votes will be tallied and an event winner will be announced and celebrated on the day. All teams who are voted for in each event will accumulate points across the academic year for their school’s overall REFSPECT score.

Our annual leader-board will be updated termly to promote the initiative regularly around the borough. Our 5 Cluster winners and overall Borough winner will be announced and celebrated at the end of the year and schools will be presented with a REFSPECT celebratory trophy and certificate to recognise their efforts and commitment to the campaign.

We provide an inclusive platform for young people to excel and achieve their personal best. Ultimately, we want our young people to lead healthy and active lifestyles, experience various opportunities where they can express themselves, showcase their talent and compete fairly in an environment that promotes sportsmanship, professionalism and good etiquette.

We can all play our part in achieving this.

Don’t X The Line

We are proud to be working in collaboration with Don’t X The Line’s national ‘REFSPECT’ programme. Headed by Mal Lee at Don’t X The Line, their national REFSPECT programme seeks to raise awareness and eliminate problems experienced by referees at all levels of the game of football, in particular at grassroots level. DXTL have kindly allowed us to promote our Merton based programme under their National REFSPECT banner. For more information please visit their website:

2023 Awards

Congratulations to our 2022/23 Overall REFSPECT Borough and Cluster winners! Poplar Primary in the Morden Cluster did extremely well over the duration of the whole academic year, claiming 1st place. Joseph Hood for West Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park for Central Wimbledon, Liberty for Mitcham Town and Links for East Mitcham should all be very proud of their cluster winning achievements too! Well done.

Thank you and well done to all schools for committing to this year’s campaign.

Our Previous Annual Winners:

  • 2024 –
  • 2023 – Overall – Poplar, Clusters – Joseph Hood, Wimbledon Park, Liberty, Lonesome
  • 2022 – Borough : Lonesome and Pelham / Cluster : St. Teresa’s and Hatfeild 
  • 2021 – Virtual Competition Winners : Poplar 
  • 2020 – (To March 2020) : Poplar 
  • 2019 – Wimbledon Chase
  • 2018 – Links

Download our REFSPECT resources below:

  • Codes of Conduct – ‘Anti-Bullying’, ‘Young People’ and ‘Adults’ code of conduct posters.
  • Certificate Template – This award can be used to share the importance of REFSPECT at your intra school festivals and competitions.
  • Poster for promoting REFSPECT around your school.

Sports leadership opportunities are available for secondary school pupils to support our events and gain valuable experience in coaching, event organisation and match officiating. Recently we have also been able to offer this same experience to Year 6 pupils as we believe this will encourage their continued participation in sports and interest in leadership as they head into secondary school. For more information on leadership, get in touch today.

Click here to read our Vision and Purpose
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