NEW CARIBBEAN FOOTBALL UNION (CFU) President Randy Harris has urged aspiring referees to take their role more seriously.
That was the message that Harris had for two dozen young referees attending a FIFA Referees Assistance Programme (RAP) that is being held under the auspices of the Barbados Football Association (BFA).
Speaking before an audience yesterday morning at the Barbados Olympic Association’s (BOA) headquarters that included FIFA technical instructor Peter Prendergast, Harris said the referees were key to raising the standard of football and the profile of the sport. “We (BFA) want to lift the standard of football not only on the field of play and in the board room, but in the office and just about everywhere.
“The referees are a part of the process and it is important they view their role more seriously. I want you to set an example. Young people need an example. We have to lift the standard of the game and by doing that, we can lift the standard of a lot of young people,” he said. Harris said the course was critical to developing the standard of refereeing in Barbados, noting it was important even though every participant may not become FIFA accredited officials, it was vital to have a competent pool to draw from.
Harris, who is also the BFA president, also spoke of the value of fitness. “Fitness is very important in refereeing. A lot of time, we lose focus on that.”
Chairman of BFA Referees Committee, Barney Callender, made it clear to the 25 participants that training must be part of their diet. “Those who don’t value training, I want you to rethink that. It is important to put the hard work in. I want after the nice gear and videos, that after you leave here, you are a better referee. I challenge you to make sure that happens. “Everyone is not going to be a FIFA referee, but you have a responsibility to the game,” he said.
In calling for a change of attitude towards training and a commitment to refereeing, Callender said participants should ask themselves three questions: “What aspects of my refereeing I want to keep and improve? What aspects of my refereeing I want to get rid off? What new skills, attitudes and techniques I want to include in my refereeing?” he added.
Prendergast was full of praise for Harris. “Make the best of what you have as not many countries have a President like you that has so much interest in referees. This programme is vital and will be a huge learning experience for participants,” said Prendergast, who added he was happy to see several females getting into the system.
The course stretches five days with the majority of the participants having officiated in the lower divisions. The youngest participant is 16-year-old Jaselle Louison.
Most of the class sessions are being conducted by FIFA fitness instructor Joseph Taylor and referee physical fitness instructor, Andrew Belgrave. mikeKing@ nationnews.com
Adapted from nationnews.com
FIFA Referees Instructors Peter Prendergast (left) and Joseph Taylor (right) speak to CFU & BFA President Randy Harris at the opening of the 2017 RAP Programme in Barbados.