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Chris Nightingale has been recognised for all of his hard work and dedication, winning the ‘Dennis Braybrook’ Referees Association Award in the 2020 NSWRL Volunteer of the Year honours.

Nightingale has been involved in rugby league since 1974, playing for the Oberon Tigers for ten years before moving to Canberra and into the refereeing ranks.

He is currently the Executive Officer of the Canberra District Rugby League Referees Association, where he has been a board member since 1989.

Nightingale says it was an honour being nominated and thanked everyone in the region for their work too.

“It is still a group effort and if it wasn’t for the contribution of the CRRL and the Referees Association, I wouldn’t be receiving this award today. The award is due to them.”

Nightingale says being able to give back and mentor is the thing he enjoys most about being part of rugby league.

“Being able to give back to football and back to the game, and seeing young people evolve, that is what it’s all about.”

Phil Stuart has been involved with the Canberra Referees Association since 1979, and has refereed and worked alongside Nightingale for many years.

Stuart says Nightingale’s dedication and hard work has played a big part in getting the 2020 season up and going.

“Chris has done a fantastic job, he is the pillar of the Association with the amount of work he does. He is very dedicated and is a great mentor to all referees, young and old,” Stuart said.

“This year has been a tricky one and Chris has played big part in rugby league going ahead this season.”

Canberra Region Rugby League Chairman Gary Green has known Nightingale for 30 years and says he is grateful for all the work he has done.

“Chris has performed admirably in all of his positions for over 30 years with the Referees Association and 20 years with CRRL,” Green said.

“Everything he does is in the interest of referees and rugby league.”

Well done and thank you to Chris for all of your work in the rugby league community.