SAFA investing big on referees’ recruitment and training
By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa
The South African Football Association (SAFA) has turned the corner on professionalizing soccer in the country.
This week, Safa announced that it "is on a serious referees’ recruitment and training drive in order to have well-equipped panels at different levels of the national, regional and in all Local Football Association leagues and competitions."
This is done through various Safa sanctioned courses and workshops.
Recently there were two referee courses running concurrently at different venues in Pretoria. They ran from 1-7 April 2018.
Young Development Programme (YDP)
The course was tailored for match officials who officiate in ABC Motsepe League in various provinces and Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC).
The majority of those referees were between the ages of 18-24 which is in line with SAFA’s Vision 2022.
This is the Association’s strategy of introducing young match officials into national panels (Elite A and B) which service FIFA, CAF, PSL and the NFD.
The course instructors were impressed by the participants who they say performed extremely well in theoretical work, integrated training (which involved simulated problem areas in real match situations) and in fitness assessment (test).
“Very soon we would see some of the products of the Course promoted to higher panels,” said SAFA head of referees Tenda Masikhwa.
Instructors for the Course were Jerome Damon, Abdul Ebrahim (technical), Derek Hanson (fitness), Johnny du Toit (IT specialist) and Lebogang Daniels (trainee technical instructor).
SAB League Referees Course (Skills Camp)
Majority of participants ranged between 15-19 years of age. The focus was on theoretical and practical sessions which were conducted at the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre.
The group performed beyond expectation; which bodes well for future continuous production of high quality match officials in the country. They passed their stringent levels 1 to 3 refereeing examinations comfortably.
This was the first referees course in the country where we had more female participants than male ones. Of the 30 participants, 16 were females. This is women empowerment in action and will be the trend going forward in refereeing courses.
Instructors for the course were Deidre’ Zealand (technical), Didiza Ngutshana (technical) and Enock Molefe (both technical and fitness).
Tenda Masikhwa (acting HOD) and Dawn Lubisi (administrator) ensured that both courses ran smoothly.