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Referees: icons for change


Referees: icons for change

Referees are the perfect role models; they are trained to embody the rules of the game and hold a position of power and influence, but before this year’s referees take to the pitches at East Africa Cup, Maqulqte Onyango from MYSA, leads training about the roles they can play off the pitch too.

Why is it important to develop referees as role models?

“Referees are live examples of the outcomes of our [sport and development] programmes, creating local models young people can identify with, regardless of your background. It is important to show others that many progress to international levels, so when people in the community see others make it, they see that ‘I can make it too!’”

What impact can referees have in the community?
“When referees return from tournaments like EAC, people see officials who interact with older members of the community and showing younger players the importance of changing perceptions in sport. Referees can also gain an income from refereeing and inspire others to empower themselves too.”

Developing role models
Terezi Mwakichi, CHRISC Tanzania 
“There are not many girls participating in these courses because they think that they do not have the same knowledge and skills, but I encourage them to follow in my footsteps and become a referee. Now I can help my mother from the income I get and I can also officiate other matches in other communities.”

Chance Akampa, CHRSIC Uganda
“I like to serve people in my community and as a referee, I can earn a living and use my role to also promote message like HIV/AIDS awareness and friendship. This course has allowed me to travel to Tanzania and meet and share with other people.”

Training referees through East Africa Cup
“Referees across organisations are using the same guidelines, but using different approaches, so we are trying to improve and sharpen the level of role models across participating organisations and try and share the best practices in the region,” said Maqulqte.

The referees will begin officating matches tomorrow. 

Find out more about East Africa Cup 2012


Article type



Mel Paramasivan


Monday, June 25, 2012 - 23:00