FIFA, as part of its development plan, found a need to educate women in the refereeing area.
The first women’s referee course was officially opened on Monday 27th July, and it ran all weeklong, closing on Friday.
The course focused on women only and had instructors who gave the women both theory and practical sessions.
“As part of FIFA’s development plan, there has to be a role played by women in sports and by bringing women to the forefront FIFA notices their importance and wants to develop and keep women motivated in football, hence the training course,” said Phakamile Kraai, BFA’s Marketing and Communications Officer.
He noted that they hoped the participants would increase the number of FIFA listed women referees in Botswana, from 3 to 10. He noted that this also related to BFA’s concept of not only encouraging the women at playing but in officiating as well.
Kraai said referees should be trained from an early level so that they are well acquainted. He further stated that there will be more of these courses coming to fully equip the women as this one was only a beginner’s course.
“This course has also come at an opportune time when the Botswana National Sports Council will this year hold the second sporting showpiece of Botswana Games, meaning that the youth will officiate their peers’ games,” he said.
Dintwe Dintwe, the course instructor, noted that all those who attended the course are women already in the football fraternity and some who have interest in it. He said that the course is a great learning tool to the participants.
“This is a beginner’s course and aims at empowering these women and teaching them the basics about refereeing,” he added.
Some of the participants who attended the course explained that the course was an eye opener for them in the refereeing arena. They noted that the course gave them more experience in addition to what they already knew.
The course attracted about thirty-two participants from several schools and BFA regions around Botswana. Among the participants were students and teachers and their ages ranged from fourteen to thirty four and they play football at their respective schools.