Fourteen women successfully pass the FIVB International Referee Candidate Course in Nairobi

11 March 2014

Nairobi, Kenya, March 11, 2014- Just 48 hours after the International Women Day was celebrated globally, 14 referees capped the feat triumphantly after they all passed FIVB International Candidate Referee Course for Women that concluded in Nairobi, Kenya on March 10, 2014.


The course that was organized under the framework of CAVB strategic plan was the first of its kind in the world and attracted participants from eight countries.


The countries are Kenya that registered five candidates Egypt (3), Uganda (1), Tunisia (1), South Africa (1), Ethiopia (1), Burundi (1) and Zimbabwe (1).


South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe were searching for their first ever international female referee.


The course was directed by FIVB and CAVB Refereeing Commission President Hassan Ahmed of Egypt and instructed by Jacek Spisak of Poland.


Ibrahim Hamid of Khartoum Development Centre was the main co-ordinator assisted by KVF Sports Organiser Ishmail Chege, first vice chairman Charles Nyaberi and Secretary General Evans Wasike.


The main goal of the course was to increase the number and effectiveness of women referees in the whole continent.


Speaking during closing ceremony at Sports View Hotel, Spisak expressed gratitude to the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) and CAVB Development Centre in Khartoum for organizing the event.


“The 10 days that we have spent here were very important for participants as they offered them chance to move one step ahead in their volleyball career,” said Spisak.


The instructor described the closing ceremony as the most important day for the referees as it marked a new beginning in their volleyball career.


KVF chairman Waithaka Kioni said that the course was important since there was need to increase the number of women referees in Africa.


“The total number of women referees in Africa has been low and if all the participants here pass the test it would be huge step towards increasing the number,” Kioni said.


“I want to express my appreciation to the FIVB President (Dr Ary Graca and CAVB President Dr Amr Elwani through Ahmed for choosing Kenya as the venue to host the first ever referees course for women only,” he said.


Kenya’s Commissioner for Sports Gordon Oluoch who was the chief guest also described the course as unique idea.


“Kenya as a country values gender equality and it is gratifying to see the first ever course for women only taking place in our Capital City,” said Oluoch.


The Commissioner said that Kenya looks forward to a situation where the number of women referees will equal that of men in the world. He encouraged the promoted whistlers to continue learning for perfect application of the rules of the game during matches.


“Fair judgment is spirit of sports and competing teams would only appreciate the outcome of a match if the referee was fair,” he noted.


Oluoch said that he look forward to see one of the referees who sat for their course in Nairobi officiate in great world events. Oluoch reminded referees that their duty should not be only to officiate in the game of volleyball but inspire others to follow the same route.


There were ululations amongst participants when course instructor Ahmed declared that all students had successfully passed the 10-day test.


“We worked together for 12 hours on daily basis with our target being to improve the previous day’s performance,” said Ahmed.


“The evaluation of your work during the week was very good and despite the challenge of language barrier since all of you are not English speakers, you all passed the course successfully,” Ahmed said amid celebrations as celebrations engulfed the Sports View Hotel Hall.


“I now declare you all as international referees and you should start to work hard to officiate in CAVB matches in next years,” he said.


It was double joy for Zimbabwean candidate Bekezela Saymore who gained the international status on the same day that she was celebrating her 28th birthday.


“I’m excited and I feel over the moon,” Saymore said after Hassan confirmed that they had all passed the course.


The KVF would then organize a birthday party for Saymore where she was given opportunity to cut and distribute cake to those present.


Hassan clarified that the certified awarded at the end of the course were only meant to confirm that the participants attended the course. He said the status certificates fully signed by Dr Graca and Elwani would be received next week.


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By Oscar Pilipili, KVF press officer   




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