Published on: 10 January 2022


16-year-old Rio Turner from Dorset is the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner for October.

Rio was praised for showing “incredible” maturity and responsibility in helping promote respect in his local football community.

The award recognises outstanding contributions, achievements and behaviour in grassroots football by players under 18, coaches, teams, parents and referees.

The Nationwide Mutual Respect Award panel said: “We are delighted to give this Nationwide award to Rio for being such a fabulous, young role model for mutual respect in his Dorset football community.

“Massive congratulations to Rio for exemplifying Nationwide’s mutual respect values in grassroots football and society.”

Youth referee

Rio said when he played football he often saw referees facing a lot of criticism. And he decided to do something about it.

“Referees are people who give up their time to let us play and enjoy the game,” said Rio.

“As well as helping coach my sister's team, I decided to train to become a youth referee.

“In my first game, I received a lot of abuse but I remained calm and dealt with the situation.

“It will not put me off.

“My aim as a coach and a referee in my community is to show that respect belongs to everyone in the game, no matter what age.

“My refereeing has encouraged a number of young people in the area to take up the whistle.

“Mutual respect is needed for everyone to enjoy the game at every level.”

Rio received a trophy, the accolade of being the monthly Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner and wins tickets to an England game.


The Mutual Respect Award is part of our partnership with the Football Association's Respect campaign. It aims to make grassroots football more respectful and positive.

You can nominate your child, their referees, officials, a parent helper or a club. You can make one nomination per month.

Nominations close at 11.59 pm on the 21st of each month.

We'll use the contact details provided to contact you if your nomination wins.

Our target is to engage with one million parents and coaches in the FA Respect Campaign as a part of a three-year partnership.

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