2020 Virtual Referees Assistance Programme deemed a success

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“The thought of RAP 2020 on an online platform for the first time because of the COVID-19 got me excited and I wasn’t disappointed… I’m now in a better position theoretically to make the best decisions when I’m back out on the field of play,” said Maureese Skeete, one of the 35 participants in the three-day virtual training programme for referees.

The annual training programme was held on July 24, 26 and 27 for a two-and-a-half-hour period daily and sought to enable the uniform interpretation and application of the Laws of the Game in Member of Associations.

Skeete, who was among the local Referees and Instructors, was particularly happy that FIFA and the GFF have partnered to facilitate continuous capacity building.

“The course content, materials and technology were excellent and I was impressed by the delivery of the different instructors on the platform and the fact that FIFA and the GFF are finding ways to keep us updated with the new Law changes and materials during these difficult time is commendable.”

Areas covered in the session included injury treatment, nutrition/fluid intake, review of the Laws of the Game 2020/2021 changes and clarifications, handball and challenges. There were also a number of video tests and breakout room discussions.

Head of GFF’s Refereeing Department, Dion Inniss said while there was some initial apprehension about the new method of learning, there was maximum participation from participants. He noted that more online sessions will be utilised to prepare referees for the match readiness when outdoor activities restart.

“Training and development of referees is an ongoing process: this medium of training in an online environment is novel and has been fully embraced by the match officials. I was very impressed with how quickly the participants adapted to the use of the online tools. At the beginning there was some apprehension as to how this will work, especially considering that the internet connectivity is not the best in most parts of Guyana.”

“The difficulties encountered were minor and there was maximum participation from Referees in the safety and comfort of their homes. The Department intends to intensify our online programmes to prepare Referees for the restart of outdoor activities whenever that time comes. I wish to thank the FIFA Development Office for facilitating 2020 RAP Course.”

The course held under the auspices of the FIFA Regional Development Office was led by FIFA Regional Development Officer Javier Santos and he was assisted by Instructors Jeffery Solis and Alan Brown of Costa Rica with IT support from Mark Cahen of the CONCACAF Refereeing Department.

Local Technical Instructors were Ingram Johnson, Abdulla Hamid, Sherwin Moore and Fitness Instructor Lindley Langhorne.

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